Saint of the Day – 18 March – Saint Salvator of Horta OFM (1520-1567) Lay Brother

Saint of the Day – 18 March – Saint Salvator of Horta OFM (1520-1567) Lay Brother of Friars Minor, Cook, Porter and Quester of alms, Miracle-worker.Born in 1520 at Santa Columba, Gerona, Spain and died on 18 March 1567 at the Friary at Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy of natural causes, aged just 46. Also known as – Salvador, Salvatore. Additional Memorial – 17 April (Friars Minor). Canonised on 17 April 1938 by Pope Pius XI. His body is incorrupt.

In the Sixteenth Century when the Faith, especially in Germany, was so mightily shaken by the so-called reformers, when the Sign of the Cross was abolished as a superstitious practice, Almighty God permitted this very Sign of the Cross to shine with special power and radiance, in order to strengthen the Faith in another country. This was Spain and it was through the great Miracle-orker of the Sixteenth Century, St Salvator of Horta.

Salvator was born of poor parents in the year 1520. Orphaned when still quite young, he tended cattle and was later sent as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Barcelona. His devout heart, however, was constantly prompting him to consecrate himself to God; so, when he was twenty years old, he entered the Franciscan Order as a lay brother. He distinguished himself among his brethren by rigorous mortification, profound humility and extraordinary simplicity.

Almighty God, who chooses the lowly to make known the wonders of His power, manifested His power in Salvator at the very beginning of his religious life.

He was sent to assist the brother in the kitchen and one day, when the cook was ill, Salvator had to undertake the entire round of duties alone. When it was close to the noon hour, the Father Guardian went to the kitchen to see what Brother Salvator had prepared. He found the kitchen locked. After looking for Salvator for a considerable time, he finally found him kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, deeply absorbed in prayer.

Statue (after 1606) by Michelangelo Naccherino (Florence 1550-Naples 1622) – Santa Maria di Montecalvario or della Mercede Church in Naples

He had been there since early morning without being aware of it. The Superior reproved him severely and Salvator acknowledged his guilt amid many tears, begging for a severe penance. How astonished, however, were both men when they arrived at the kitchen and found all the food ready to be served – the angels had substituted for Salvator! How beautiful!

After pronouncing his vows, Salvator was sent to the Convent at Tortosa. Although he was assigned in turn to the duties of cook, porter and quester of alms, he was ,nevertheless, continually recollected and intimately united with God.

While gathering alms, Salvator often came upon sick people for whom his prayers were requested. He would make the Sign of the Cross over them and immediately they were healed. News of this fact soon spread abroad and may sick were brought to the Convent. All were restored to health through the Sign of the Cross which Brother Salvator made over them.

The concourse of sick people, however, finally became so great that it disturbed the good order in the Convent. So the Superiors sent Brother Salvator to the nearby Convent of Horta, where he spent the greater part of his religious life, hence his surname “of Horta.”

Although the transfer was made in perfect secrecy and no one had been informed of it, the sick presented themselves at the Convent at Horta already in the first days after his arrival there and their number increased daily. The deaf, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the epileptic, came; the paralytic, the dropsical, those afflicted with fevers and sufferers of every type were brought to him on beds, so that Brother Salvator might restore their health.

Usually there were as many as two thousand a week, sometimes that many in one day and once, on the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, as many as six thousand made their appearance!

One time the Grand Inquisitor, a renowned theologian, whose duty it was to guard the purity of the Faith, came in order to learn whether anything occurred there that savoured of superstition. Without giving any indication of his rank, he took his station at a corner of the Church were the sick were expecting the healing hand of Brother Salvator.

When the good religious arrived, Saint Salvator of Horta had the sick make way for him as he passed through their ranks till he reached the Grand Inquisitor. There he reverently kissed the latter’s hand and begged him to come to the upper Church, where he could watch the entire proceedings. Astonished at finding himself recognised, the Inquisitor was already assured of the power from on high which held sway there. Nevertheless, he followed the brother.

Salvator began, as usual, to admonish the sick to examine their conscience and to receive the Sacraments of Penance and of the Holy Eucharist worthily. Then he blessed them with the Sign of the Cross while he called upon the Blessed Trinity and imposed on them a few prayers in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whose intercession he ascribed all the cures. The sufferers were then all suddenly cured, except, as Salvator had foretold, those who were not sincere in their conversion.

St Salvator and the Grand Inquisitor by Esteban Murillo

In order to test the humility of the brother and to preserve him in it, his Superiors frequently imposed heavy trials but he always remained an obedient, humble and contented religious. A prominent gentleman once warned Salvator that he should be on guard against pride and presumption. The good brother answered:

“I always think of myself as a sack full of straw; the sack is indifferent as to whether it lies in a stable or is brought into a magnificent room.”

The last two years of Sa;vator’s life were spent on the Island of Sardinia and there he died in the Convent of Cagliari on 18 March 1567. Innumerable miracles occurred also at his grave. The uninterrupted devotion to the Saint was confirmed on 29 January 1711 by Pope Clement XI. Saint Salvator of Horta was CanoniSed by Pope Pius XI in 1938.

Death of Saint Salvator of Horta
Viceregal Museum of Zinacantepec, Mexico

His remains were originally interred at the Church of St Mary of Jesus attached to the Friary where he died, in Cagliari, Sardinia. In 1606 it had been decided to open his grave to provide his heart as a Relic for the Franciscan community. When his tomb was opened, his body was found to be still intact and in perfect condition, bearing no signs at all of any corruption.

Thus, when the Church of St Mary of Jesus was demolished in 1718, his remains were interred first at another Church of the Order in the City, then finally, in 1758, they were entombed in a glass coffin under the Main Altar of the Church of St Rosalie in the City. This remains his Shrine, where his remains can be venerated.



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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