Saint of the Day – 4 December – Blessed Pietro Tecelano TOSF (c 1200 – 1289)

Saint of the Day – 4 December – Blessed Pietro Tecelano TOSF (c 1200 – 1289) Layman, Widower, Franciscan Tertiary, Apostle of the sick and the poor, spiritual and secular adviser, miracle-worker. Born in c 1200 at Campi, Tuscany, Italy and died in early December 1289 in Siena, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – Siena, Italy and Comb-makers. Also known as – Pietro Pettinaio, Peter…. Pier…. Additional Memorials – 16 March, 4 and 11 November, 10 December – Memorials on different Calendars.

The Roman Martyrology states: “In Siena, Blessed Pietro Pettinario, religious of the Third Order of St Francis, distinguished for his particular charity towards the needy and the sick and for his life of humility and silence.”

Pietro was born around 1200 in Campi, a village of Castelnuovo Berardenga near Siena and moved with his parents to Siena at some point during his childhood.

He married but the couple remained childless. In order to provide for his new wife he worked as a comb-maker, that is a merchant of bone and mother-of-pearl combs used in spinning. .. He purchased a house in which vines flourished so as to make wine. Sadly his wife died and Pietro then lived alone and devoted his time to his business and soon became rich and famous.

Perhaps converted thanks to the newly born Franciscan Order, he became famous once more but now for his generosity towards his competitors – on market days he arrived late to sell, so as not to damage them too much. In addition to carrying out his working activity, he also dedicated himself to assisting the sick at the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala where he bound wounds and sores and helps the most needy. In this work he was assisted by eight friends – merchants and lawmen, who he had encouraged to join him in his apostolate.

He lived a simple life, giving excess wealth to the Franciscans and he spent his evenings in meditation and devoting such nights to God in prayer.

Pietro left no writings and is remembered for his silences, we often see him depicted with a finger on his lips. The few things he said and the many he did, were very effective, to the point that some traffickers, after having defrauded the City, returned the money to him, he then returned it to the relevant section of the City administration. The governors, in turn, often called upon him for help and advice – in 1282 , for example, he was asked to choose the five inmates to be amnestied.

When the Franciscans of Siena had doubts about the authentic vocation of their novices , they had them examined by him. His life was inspired by the most rigorous followers of St Francis of Assisi, the spirituals.

The Dominican preacher, Blessed Ambrogio Sansedoni, who went to Pietro for spirtual guidance, renounced his election as a Bishop on Pietro’s advice.

Seeking solitude, he sold his home and business, donating the proceeds to the poor and spent the last few years of his life, as a guest of the Franciscans. There, considered himself far too talkative, Pietro aimed at living amongst them in silence.He undertook several pilgrimages to religious sites including Assisi, where Saint Francis of Assisi worked and lived.

During his lifetime he was hailed as a miracle-worker and was considered a great saint. He became a sought after adviser to Priests as well as to the people of Siena and was considered charismatic.

Pietro died in early December 1289 (possilby the 4th) at an advanced age and was buried at the Franciscan Church in Siena. His grave soon became a pilgrimage site and the scene of miracles. A Shrine was built over his grave in 1326 and an annual local feast in his honour was established in 1329. The Shrine was lost to fire in 1655 and remaining relics were preserved when the Poor Clare nuns took them into their care

The people of Siena adored Pietro and called for his Canonisation. Official recognition of Pietro’s holiness led to Pope Pius VII confirming his “cultus” acting as formal Beatification on 18 August 1802.

Dante Alighieri included Pietro in his work (Divina Comedia) in “Canto XIII” through the character of Pier the Comb-Seller.


Notre-Dame-de-la-Chapelle d’Abbeville / Our Lady of La Chapelle, at Abbeville, France (1400) and Memorials of the Saints – 4 December

Notre-Dame-de-la-Chapelle d’Abbeville / Our Lady of La Chapelle, at Abbeville, France (1400) – 4 December:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “This Church was built about the year 1400, on a small hill, where formerly they worshipped idols.”

The Town of Abbeville is located in Picardy in the northern region of France. It is located on the Somme River. Fortunately for us, there still exists today a plan for the Town of Abbeville that was etched in the year 1653. Our Lady of La Chapelle can easily be distinguished in the foreground of the etching, dominating the City though built outside the walls.
The church was initially only a Chapel in which there was exhibited a religious icon of Our Lady that earned the Church its name, of Our Lady of the Chapel. The structure was indeed erected on the remains of a temple devoted to paganism. The growing number of the faithful coming to pray there, made it a true Parish, and so, the Church expanded to have 3 naves and 7 Altars, reflecting the expansion of the City.
The Church was built in limestone in the flamboyant Gothic style. It survived numerous dangers and setbacks over the coming centuries, exposed to wind and rough weather at the top of the hill, including being struck several times by lightning. In 1619, the high Bell Tower did not survive a violent storm,and was rebuilt the following year.
All of this is nothing compared to the danger that the Church faced in 1637-1638. At that time, Spain and France were at war. King Louis XIII came to Abbeville, a strategic Town and realised that the Chapel could serve as a type of fortress in case of a siege. Aware of the danger, Cardinal Richelieu gave the order to demolish the Church. The Mayor at the time, Guilaume Sanson and his aldermen, managed to talk him out of it.
The Church was saved, but for how long?
Then, in 1789, came the French Revolution. The Church that had survived so much was destroyed in 1794.
Yet, in 1804 another large Chapel was built to replace the lost church, a building retaining the tower of 1620. (That bell tower has been classified as an Historic Monument since 1901.
The cemetery that once surrounded the Church was preserved and has been significantly expanded to become the cemetery of the City since the year 1844.

The original Bell Tower still remains a part of the new Church

St John Damascene (675-749) Last of the Greek Fathers& Doctor of the Church, Monk, Theologian, Writer (Optional Memorial)
FEAST DAY: 27 March (General Roman Calendar 1890–1969)
St John’s Life:
And Pope Benedict on St John Damascene:

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church – Bishop of Ravenna, Italy.
FEAST DAY: 4 December (General Roman Calendar 1729-1969)

St Ada of Le Mans
St Adelmann of Beauvais
Bl Adolph Kolping
St Anno II
St Apro

St Barbara (Died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr. Saint Barbara is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.
St Barbara’s Life and Death:

St Bernardo degli Uberti
St Bertoara of Bourges
St Christianus
St Clement of Alexandria
St Cyran of Brenne
St Eraclius
St Eulogio Álvarez López
St Ezequiel Álvaro de La Fuente
St Felix of Bologna
Bl Francis Galvez
St Francisco de la Vega González
St Giovanni Calabria
St Heraclas of Alexandria
St Jacinto García Chicote
Bl Jerome de Angelis
St John the Wonder Worker
St Maruthas
St Melitus of Pontus

St Osmund (Died 1099) Bishop of Salisbury, Confessor, Count of Sées, Lord Chancellor.
The Life of St Osmund:

Blessed Pietro Tecelano TOSF (c 1189-1289) Layman, Widower, Tertiary of the Order of Friars Minor
St Prudens
St Robustiano Mata Ubierna
St Sigiranus
Bl Simon Yempo
St Sola
St Theophanes

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Eulogio Álvarez López
• Blessed Ezequiel Álvaro de La Fuente
• Blessed Francisco de la Vega González
• Blessed Jacinto García Chicote
• Blessed Robustiano Mata Ubierna