Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 February – Blessed Pietro Igneus OSB Vall. (c 1020 – 1089) Cardinal Bishop

Saint of the Day – 8 February – Blessed Pietro Igneus OSB Vall. (c 1020 – 1089) Cardinal Bishop of Albano, Reformer – particularly against simony, Papal Legate and peace-maker. Born in c 1020 in Italy and died on 11 November 1089 of natural causes. Roman Martyrology: In Albano in Lazio, Blessed Peter, called Igneus because he passed unharmed in the fire, Monk of Vallombrosa and later Bishop of Albano, who devoted himself tirelessly to the renewal of ecclesiastical discipline.

Pietro was born to a noble family probably in Florence, although no documentation has been received that would allow us to reconstruct his first years of life. He was a relative to St John Gualbert (c 985-1073), the Founder of the Vallombrosians branch of the Benedictines and the Uncle of St Bernardo degli Uberti, Cardinal Bishop of Parma and Abbot, also a Vallombrosian Monk. He had at least one sibling.

Becoming a Monk in the Vallombrosana Congregation in 1018, he was a close follower of John Gualbert and adhered to the Gregorian Reform.

The most renowned event of his life, was the famous ordeal, which took place in 1068 near Badia a Settimo, near Florence. The episode was part of the fight against the simoniacal investiture of a Bishop of Florence, a certain Pietro Mezzabarba. The investigation was conducted by Pietro and by John Gualbert and defended by St Peter Damian among others. The controversy caused a great deal of distress in the Vallombrosan Monastery which to Bishop Mezzabardba, was like a thorn in the side of his control over the city of Florence.

The episode caused a great sensation among the faithful of the time. Pietro, to demonstrate the reliability of the theses supported by John Gualberto, which documented the simony of Mezzabarba, voluntarily submitted to the “Judgement of God,” walking on an expanse of burning coals and remaining miraculously unscathed. For this reason he was called Igneus which means “fire-tried” and was immediately made the object of a popular devotion. This triumph of the Monks, led to a confession on the part of the erring Bishop. Following the sensational episode, Pope Alexander II accepted the theses of the Vallombrosans and deposed the Bishop. Mezzabarba subsequently repented and retired to a Monastery, spending the rest of his life in penance and spiritual recollection.

Bl Pietro Igneus walks on the fire – Marco Palmezzano

In 1068 he was sent by his Abbot, John Gualbert, to direct the Abbey of San Salvatore near Fucecchio, at the express request of the Cadolingi counts, who had financially helped the construction of the Abbey. While remaining in Fucecchio for a few years, in 1072 Pope Alexander II raised him to the office of Bishop of Albano but he always kept the title of Abbot of San Salvatore in Fucecchio.

Pietro attended the October 1072 Consecration of the Church of Santi Donato e Nicola in Albano, while he himself, Consecrated the Church of San Miniatis in Rubbicana on 7 February 1077.

He co-operated with Pope Gregory VII to repress simony and reform church discipline. Gregory VII entrusted him with several important missions – in 1079 he served as a Papal Legate in the German kingdom with the Bishop of Padua, to mediate between the Emperor Henry IV and Rudolf of Swabia. Upon the renewal of the excommunication against the Emperor at Salerno in 1084, he was designated – at Pope Gregory VII’s behest – as one of the two legates sent to France for the promulgation of the sentence. He is mentioned in the Papal Bull of Pope Urban II, on 8 July 1089 and is attested for the last time, in the Papal Curia in September 1089.

Pietro served as a Co-Consecrator for the episcopal Consecration of the new Pope Victor III in 1087. He participated in the conclaves held in 1086 and in 1088.

He died on 11 November 1089, most probably in Albano. His body was brought back to Vallombrosa and buried in the Abbey.

Blessed Pietro was Beatified on 4 March 1673 by Pope Clement X.

St John Gualbert’s Life:

The miracle of Bl Pietro

Abbey of Our Lady of the Lily, Melun, France (13th Century) and Memorials of the Saints – 8 February

Abbey of Our Lady of the Lily, Melun, France (13th Century) – 8 February:

The Royal Abbey of Our Lady of the Lys –
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “This Abbey of Cistercian nuns was founded by Queen Blanche, Mother of King Saint Louis.”

The former Royal Abbey Notre-Dame du Lys, or Our Lady of the Lily, now in ruins, was once a Cistercian Abbey for nuns founded by Queen Blanche of Castile and her son, King Saint Louis IX, in 1244. The ruins are located along the centre of the Town of Dammarie-les-Lys, four kilometers downstream from Melun, in the south of the Seine-et-Marne. The town takes its name from the Chapel, meaning ‘the oratory of the Virgin next to the Abbey of Lys.’ Looted and converted into cattle pens during the French Revolution, the Abbey was then sold as a romantic ruin in 1797. The remains of the Abbey were made an historic monument on 30 December 1930.
From 1226 to 1248, during the early years of the reign of St Louis IX, that is to say, the period immediately preceding the foundation of the Abbey of the Lys, many Cistercian Monasteries were founded and several Churches dedicated. The foundation of an Abbey like Our Lady of Lys, is very burdensome financially, requiring a significant capital contribution. Land must be purchased for the Monastery, buildings constructed sufficient for life and maintenance of a number of religious and of course a Church.
On24 October 1227, the Consecration and Dedication of the magnificent Abbey Church that the Cistercians built in Longpont took place. The same year saw the creation of the Abbeys of the Treasury of Notre-Dame and Royaumont, as well as, the attachment of the Convent Panthémont to the order of Cîteaux.
In 1236, Queen Blanche of Castile, had laid the foundations of Notre-Dame-La-Royale, Maubuisson, near Pontoise, so Saint Louis, therefore, assumed all expenses involved in the foundation of the new Abbey but left his mother in charge of the work. ‘Our Lady of the Lily’ would be the new house for Cistercian nuns outside Melun, a town which Blanche loved. The name was one they had agreed upon for the new Convent, a Convent where there would be prayers perpetually offered to God, for the sake of the Crusade that King Louis would soon embark upon.
The Queen of France, Blanche of Castile, wife of King Louis VIII ‘the Lion’ and mother of King Saint Louis IX, died there on 27 November, 1252.
There is a list of Abbesses of Our Lady of Lys beginning with Vienna Alix, Countess of Macon and the last Countess of Vienna, who died there on 23 August 1258. She had been widowed, when her husband died fighting in the Holy Land in 1234. The last Abbess was Jeanne Foissy, who was forced to leave by the revolutionaries on 3 March 1791.
Blanche of Castile withdrew to Melun towards the end of her life, where she died in 1252, while her son Saint Louis was on a crusade with his wife Marguerite. She was buried at the Abbey of Maubuisson but her heart was later transported to the Abbey of Lys.

St Jerome Emiliani CRS (1486–1537) (Optional Memorial)
About St Jerome:

St Josephine Bakhita FDCC (1869-1947) (Optional Memorial) 6th Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking under the Patronage of St Josephine.

St Cointha of Alexandria
St St Cuthman
St Cyriacus of Rome
St Dionysus of Armenia
St Elfleda of Whitby
St Emilian of Armenia
Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus (1893-1983)
About Bl Maria:
St Giacuto
St Gisela
St Honoratus of Milan
St Invenzio of Pavia
St Isaias Boner
St Jacoba
Bl Josephina Gabriella Bonino
St Kigwe
St Lucius of Rome
St Meingold
St Mlada of Prague
St Nicetius of Besançon
St Oncho of Clonmore
St Paul of Rome
St Paul of Verdun
Blessed Pietro Igneus OSB Vall. (c 1020 – 1089) Cardinal Bishop
St Sebastian of Armenia
St Stephen of Muret

Martyrs of Constantinople: Community of 5th century monks at the monastery of Saint Dius at Constantinople. Imprisoned and martyred for loyalty to the Vatican during the Acacian Schism. 485 in Constantinople.

Martyrs of Persia: An unknown number of Christians murdered in early 6th-century Persia. Legend says that so many miracles occurred through the intercession of these martyrs that the king decreed an end to the persecution of Christians.