Saint of the Day – 24 February – Blessed Marco De’ Marconi OSH (1480-1510) known as “The Glory of Mantua,” Hermit Monk of the Order of the Hermits of Saint Jerome (The Hieronymites) a common name for several congregations of Hermit Monks living according to the Rule of Saint Augustine, although the principle role of their lives is the great Hermit and biblical scholar St Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church. Marco was gifted with the charism of prophecy and of miracles. Born in 1480 in Mantua, Italy and died on 24 February 1510 in Mantua, Italy of natural causes. His Body is incorrupt. Blessed Mark was Beatified on 2 March 1906 by Pope Pius X.
Marco was the son of poor and simple parents, Hewas born in1480 at Milliarino near Mantua. From early youth he was endowed with a deep sense of piety and gave signs of extraordinary sanctity. At this time, there was in Mantua, a community of the Poor Hermits of St Jerome, who had been founded by the Tertiary Blessed Peter of Pisa. In other Cities of Italy there were similar communities of Hermits; and all of them observed the Rule of the Third Order of St Francis until the year 1568, when they adopted that of St Augustine. Marco entered the Hermitage of St Matthew at Mantua when he was still quite young.
From the very beginning of his religious life, Marco won the admiration of the other Hermits by the cheerfulness and promptness with which he carried out all the spiritual exercises, those which were ordinary, as well as the most difficult. His one desire was to become as perfect an imitator of Christ as possible. Marco possessed the gift of prophecy and of miracles. The people revered him as a saint and considered themselves fortunate if they could touch the hem of his garment.
Living continuously n the presence of God provided Marco with special light, by which he also learned to know himself better day by day. Just as, when the sun’s beams penetrate a room, we can more plainly see all the particles of dust in the air, which would otherwise be invisible and which we had not realised were there, so will the remembrance of an all-holy God Who beholds us, reveal the stains and defects in our hearts, of which we should not otherwise have been aware.
Marco was only thirty when he died on 24 February 1510. His incorrupt body is venerated in the Cathedral, and he is called “The Glory of Mantua.”
His remain were initially buried at the Church of His Monastery in Mantua but when, in the mid-17th Century, this Monastery was destroyed in war, his Relics were moved to a new Monastery and Church, also in Mantua. Later, in the late 18th Century, the Church and Monastery were suppressed and the Relics were briefly hidden. Finally, his body was enshrined in the Cathedral in Mantua, where it is still venerated.
The cult of Blessed Marvo which continued through the Centuries, was finally approved by St Pope Pius X on 2 March 1906. Blessed Marco Marconi may also be counted as one of the glories of the Third Order of St Francis.
Prayer of the Church:
We beseech Thee, O Lord,
through Thy loving kindness,
ever guard Thy household
that it maybe freed from all adversities
by Thy protection and in good deeds,
maybe devoted to Thy Name.
Through Christ Our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Ghose,
God forever and ever.