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Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

March 22
St. Benvenute of Osimo
(d. 1282)

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The spirit of Saint Francis can be found among bishops.

Benvenute came from the prominent Scotivoli family in Ancona, Italy. After studying theology and law at the University of Bologna, he was ordained and sent back to Ancona to assist in the running of the diocese.

Then he was appointed administrator of the Diocese of Osimo. That city had been without a bishop for 20 years as punishment for siding with Emperor Frederick II in his wars against the pope. Benvenute succeeded in convincing the people of Osimo to return to obedience to the pope. In 1264 the pope named Benvenute Bishop of Osimo, but allowed him to become a Franciscan before taking up his episcopal duties.

As a bishop Benvenute wore the Franciscan habit and observed the Rule of Saint Francis carefully. He promoted reform in his diocese by calling together synods and establishing wise rules to combat existing abuses. In all, Benvenute led the men and women of his diocese closer to God.

He died in his cathedral amid his priests. He was canonized three years later.


People from all walks of life have followed Christ after the example of St. Francis. While most Franciscan bishops have served in the missions, there have been a significant number like Benvenute. Positions of leadership have made these bishops even more aware that humility and poverty are the marks of Christ’s Church.


"In exercising their office of fathers and pastors, bishops should be with their people as those who serve, as good shepherds who know their sheep and whose sheep know them, as true fathers who excel in their love and solicitude for all, to whose divinely conferred authority all readily submit. They should so unite and mold their flock into one family that all, conscious of their duties, may live and act as one in charity" (Vatican II, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops, #16).

Sunday, March 22, 2015
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Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.

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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome: There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in 57-58 A.D.. 
<p>There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in 54 A.D. Paul’s letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds. </p><p>In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims. </p><p>Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.</p> American Catholic Blog While the future may be uncertain to us, we can rest comfortably in the loving control and sovereignty of our Heavenly Father. We can trust his plan, and we can rely upon his fatherly design and control.

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