24 Sep Saint Pacifico of San Severino
Today is the feast day of Saint Pacifico (Pacific) of San Severino. Ora pro nobis.
Pacifico Bruni was born into a distinguished family in San Severino in the Marche of Ancona in central Italy in 1653. Pacifico never really got to know his parents, Antonio and Mariangela, both of whom died when he was three years old. As a child he evinced unusual seriousness, great piety, and love of mortification.
Pacifico was an ascetic man. He fasted perpetually, eating no more than bread, soup or water. His “hair shirt” was made of iron. Poverty and obedience were two virtues for which his confreres especially remembered him. After joining the Friars Minor, he was ordained. He taught philosophy for two years and then began a successful preaching career.
He was first assigned to the surrounding villages of the Apennines, where he found the greatest delight in preaching the Gospel to the poor and the uneducated. No road was too rough, no mountain too steep for him. He looked up the poor shepherds in their out-of-the-way huts in order to instruct and guide them on the road that leads to God.
Saint Pacifico of San Severino was not long to enjoy this apostolic work. After a few years, he became ill and never completely recovered his health, so that he was obliged to serve God patiently with an infirm body for more than thirty years.
Saint Pacifico was completely satisfied with God’s designs in his regard. “God wills it,” he said in a cheerful way, “and so may His will be done.”
The painful suffering he had to endure, and the many acts of mortification he performed in addition, he joined to his unceasing prayers and offered them up for the salvation of souls and the conversion of sinners. Even in his sickness he was so modest that he would never allow anyone else to dress the ugly sores on his legs, but always took care of them himself.
When death finally summoned him and he had received Holy Communion for the last time with admirable devotion, he once more expressed his gratitude to God for all His benefits, and then, with his hands crossed upon his breast, surrendered his soul to his Creator. The day was September 24, 1721.
Many miracles occurred at his grave, and two dead persons were restored to life after his holy relics were applied to them. He was buried in a common grave used by his deceased brothers in the community, but his body was found incorrupt after four years, even though he was given no coffin.
When the body was moved, the head of the saint was accidently struck so hard against a stairway that the head of the corpse detached from the body. Blood flowed freely from the neck, splattering blood as if the body were still alive. The blood was sopped up with a shirt and kept as a relic.
Pope Gregory XVI canonized Saint Pacific in 1839.
Image: Lendinara, Duomo di Santa Sofia: interno, statua di San Pacifico. (5)
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff