Saint of the Day – 30 April – Saint Gualfardus of Augsburg (1070-1127) Hermit, Monk, Miracle-worker. Born in 1070 at Augsburg, Germany and died on 30 April 1127 at San Salvatore Priory, Verona, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – harness makers, saddlers. Also known as – Gualfardus of Verona, Gualfardo of … Wolfhard of… (Germanic version of his name). Additional Memorials – 1 May in Verona and 27 October (translation of relics).
The Roman Martyrology states today: “In Verona, Saint Gualfardo, who, a saddler from Germany, after many years spent in solitude, was welcomed in this City by the Monks of San Salvatore.”
A saddle-maker by trade, Gualfardus, obeying his inner desire for a life entirely dedicated to God, after spending some time in Verona, withdrew into solitude, in a nearby place. known as all’Adige.
Following the example of St Romuald, Founder of the Camaldolese Order of Hermits, at Mount Corona, Gualfardus spent twenty years in hiding in this solitary place, in prayer to God. Then some boatmen, who were sailing on the river discovered him and it wasn’t long before others sought him out, thus forcing him to move to Verona to the Church of St Peter.
After a while, he passed to the Church of the Blessed Trinity outside the city walls and was finally received with great joy as an oblate by the Camaldolese Monks of St Salvatore di Corteregia in Verona. There, Gualfardus remained for ten years until his death.
Gualfardus reached the highest degrees of contemplation and holiness, with incessant prayer, night vigils, fasts, penances; all interwoven with serenity, modesty and prudence, which reflected peace and intimate union with God.
A contemporary Monk, who was the author of his first ‘Vita,’ described the fervour with which Gualfardus conversed with the faithful and with the Camaldolese Monks and the many miracles obtained by Gualfardus both in life and after his death.
He died in the Convent of Verona on 30 April 1127. The Veronese celebrate his feast on 1 May, as protector of saddlers, while the Camaldolese Order and the Roman Martyrology remember him on 30 April, the anniversary of his birth into heaven.