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September 22

St Ignatius of Santhia - September 22

Saint Ignatius of Santhià

Capuchin Priest

“Father of Sinners and the Lost”

(1686 – 1770)

“Paradise is not made for slackers. Let’s get to work!

Saint Ignatius of Santhià

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life

Lorenzo Maurizio Belvisotti was born in Santhià, Vercelli, Italy on June 5, 1686, as the fourth of six children to Pietro Paolo Belvisotti and Maria Elisabetta Balocco. He received his early education from a good local priest, Bartolomeo Quallio, who inspired him and helped discern his call to enter the priesthood. 

Ordained

In 1710, Lorenzo was ordained a diocesan priest. After six years of parish ministry, he joined the Capuchin Friars. At the time, he suffered from the criticism of his family and parish who did not understand his decision. In the Capuchin Order Ignatius finally found the inner peace he had been searching for in the simplicity of Franciscan life. He was offered a position of authority in the diocese, but declined. 

Capuchin at “God’s Disposition”

On May 24, 1717, Lorenzo made his religious profession. He became a novice in the Capuchins of Turin, Italy, taking the name Ignatius. He assumed his name in honor of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. He began his spiritual journey being sent from one house to another in the Savoy region of Northern Italy. Ignatius was happy to be moved around out of obedience and honoured to be able to serve his brothers. He was completely at “God’s disposition”.

Life of Obedience

In 1727, Ignatius was sent to the convent in Torino-Monte. His responsibility was to be prefect of the sacristy and confessor for the laity, a mission he was to fulfill for the last 24 years of his life when he returned to Turin after serving as master of novices and chief of chaplains for the army of the Kingdom of Savoy. In this ministry, he showed his fatherly concern for others and the spiritual wisdom that is learned at the foot of the Crucified One. It was not long before religious, priests, the faithful and the most hardened sinners began coming to the monastery to make their confession and to receive spiritual direction.

Special Forms of Service

In 1731, Ignatius was sent to the monastery of Mondovì, where he was made master of novices and vicar of the monastery. He was in charge of the novitiate for 14 years. His only desire was to make the novices entrusted to his care true followers of Christ and obedient sons of St Francis. His teaching was founded on two pillars: divinely loving the novices and teaching by example more than by words. Ignatius was available at all hours of the day and night for novices in need of help. He knew each one of them, making their formation his top priority. In 1744, Ignatius had to leave the novitiate and go to Turin because he suffered from a mysterious eye ailment that led to near blindness. He was partially cured so that he could return to active ministry.

In 1743-1746, war broke out in the the armies of the King of Piedmont were fighting invading Franco-Hispanic forces. This also brought with it the influx of the wounded and an epidemic. The King of Sardinia-Piedmont, Charles Emmanuel III, asked the Capuchins to provide medical and spiritual care for the hospitals. Ignatius was made head chaplain and offered his assistance for two years in the hospitals of Asti, Vinovo and Alessandria, offering an example of tireless activity and piety, serving and healing in a spirit of genuine evangelical love.

His Death

When Piedmont was at peace, Ignatius returned once more to his convent in Turin-Monte.  Here, Ignatius would remain for 24 years as spiritual director and confessor for his lay brothers. In his later years, Ignatius visited the sick and the poor of Turin. In addition, he begged for money and food for the needy. Thousands came daily to Capuchin Hill for his minstering and blessings. Ignatius died in Turin, Italy on September 22, 1770 after 54 years of service in the Order.  To all people, religious brothers and laity, he taught the way of holiness and of abandonment in God’s hands, by his example and by his words. His body lies under the altar in the left chapel in the Church of Santa Maria al Monte dei Cappuccini, Turin.

Born:                June 5, 1686 in Santhià, Vercelli, Italy

Died:                September 22, 1770 age 84 in Turin, Italy

Beatified:        April 17, 1996 by Pope Paul VI

Canonized:     May 19, 2002 by Pope John Paul II

Feast Day:       September 22

Patron Saint:  Chaplains; Santhià, Italy

Source:

Reflection

After Saint Ignatius of Santhià had been a parish priest, he was offered a position of power. He declined. Instead he started as a Capuchin novice taking direction from someone half his age. Saint Ignatius accepted this humbly. Even criticism from his family and his parish did not stop from continuing to make his vows. Saint Ignatius of Santhià went on to minister to the poor and visit the sick and give blessings to thousands.

Have you ever been offered a position of power or a place of honor? Have you declined?
Remember that, as Jesus stated, when invited to the banquet, you should take to the lowest place so you can be offered to move up. May you be blessed in all that you do for the Lord.

Prayers

Saint Ignatius of Santhià, you were humble and obediant. You did God’s will wherever you were called to serve – from parish priest to Capuchin sacristan to Head Chaplain for the Armies to Spiritual Director and Confessor. You never stopped in your devotion to care for the poor, visit the ill and minister to everyone who came to you. Through your intercession and your prayers, may we always be ready to do God’s will wherever we are sent and serve God following your example. 

Saint Ignatius of Santhià, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

All Saints & Martyrs – Saint Ignatius of Santhi

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 22 September – Saint Ignatius of Santhia OFM Cap (1686-1770)

Capuchin Franciscans Province of St Mary -Saint Ignatius of Santhia Priest, 1686

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Ignatius of Santhià

Go to Mary – Saint Ignatius of Santhià

On the 250th Anniversary of the Death of St. Ignatius of Santhia by Brother Roberto Geniun General Minister OFMCap

RC Spirituality – Uncle Eddy – St Ignatius of Santhià

Roman Catholic Saints – Saint Ignatius of Santhia

Vatican – Ignatius of Santhia

Wikipedia – Ignatius of Santhià

Video Link