Saint of the Day – 20 November – Saint Cyprian of Calamizzi (c 1125-1190) Abbot, Hermit, Medical Doctor . Born in c 1125 in Reggio di Calabria, Italy and died on 20 November 1190 at the Monastery of San Nicola, Calamizzi, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Cipriano.
Cyprian, son of a rich, noble doctor, became a doctor himself but then retired at the age of 25 as a Monk to Calanna near Reggio di Calabria Monastery of the Most Holy Redeemer of the Basilians – roughly on the site of the present Parish Church
Cyprian moved on and then lived for twenty years as a Hermit in a cave on his father’s estate at Pavigliana, above Reggio, near the Church dedicated to St Veneranda . He was increasingly visited by people who sought his help, both spiritual and bodily.
Some companions joined him as Hermits. Then the Abbot Paulus from the Monastery of San Nicola at Punta Calamizzi died and its Monks asked Cyprian to be their new Abbot.
Cyprian agreed and took over at the age of 60. There Cyprian became known for his austerity, adherance to the Rule of his Monastery, his charity to poor and his wise counsel to anyone who approached him. He revived the spiritual and cultural life of the Monks, restored the Church of the Monastery and built the bell tower,. He also restored the Monks’ cells and the refectory. He expanded the library, worked to increase the education and spirituality of his Monks and during the day, he laboured as a free Physician to all the poor sick in need of assistance.
When he broke his leg in an accident whilst driving in his carriage, which was badly set and left him with a limp for the rest of his days also causing a steady decline in his health until he died on 20 November 1190.
Cyprian was buried in the Church of his Monastery at Punta Calamizzi . When the Monastery was destroyed in an earthquake in 1783, the Monks were miraculously unharmed, which they attributed to the intercession of St Cyprian.