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November 27 

St Umile da Bisignnano - November 27

Saint Umile da Bisignano
also known as Humilis of Bisignano

Franciscan Friar, Confessor

(1582 – 1637)

“The only thing I say to God is, ‘Lord, forgive the sins of all human beings and make them love you as they are obliged to love you’!”

Saint Umile da Bisignano

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

He was born Luca Antonio Pirozzo on August 26, 1582, in the city of Bisignano, Cosenza, Italy, the son of Giovanni Pirozzo and Ginevra Giardino. He received the name of Luca Antonio at baptism. From childhood, Luca caused admiration through his extraordinary piety. He participated in daily Mass, took communion on all Feast Days and meditated on the passion of the Lord even while working in the fields. It was recalled that his response to someone that had given him a terribly hard slap in the face in the public square was simply to humbly present the other cheek.

Call of God 

At the age of eighteen years, Luca felt the call of God to the consecrated life. But, for different reasons, he had to postpone the realization this call until 1609, a delay that did not impede him in taking on a more austere and fervent life. Luca was twenty seven years old when he entered the novitiate of the Friars Minor as a lay brother at Mesoraca  in the province of Crotone in Italy. Luca was under the religious guidance of Brother Antonio de Rossano, the Master of Novices, and Brother Cosimo de Bisignano, the Guardian of the House. From the time of novitiate, Luca was distinguished for his spiritual maturity and for his fervour in the observance ofthe Rule. He boldly entered into prayer and God always occupied the centre of his thoughts. He was obedient, humble and docile. He joyfully shared in the diverse moments of community life.

He made his religious profession on September 4, 1610, having overcome not a few difficulties through the intercession of the Virgin. He received the name of Humilis. 

Life as Friar

Full of joy and gratitude toward God, who had called him to his special service, Humilis now gave himself up to the practice of the religious virtues with such fervor that he was soon looked upon as a finished pattern of perfection not only by his fellow novices, but also by those who had already advanced in spiritual life. His fervor in prayer, mortification, and other pious practices increased from day to day. Humilis carried out, with simplicity and diligence, the typical tasks of the non-priest religious, such as begging for alms, attending to the service of the Community Mass, tending the garden and other manual works that the superiors entrusted to him.

“The Ecstatic Friar”

From his youth, Humilis had the gift of continuous ecstasy, to such an extent that he was called “the ecstatic Friar”. These ecstasies caused him a long series of trials and humiliations to which his superiors submitted him for the purpose of being certain that they really came from God and that they had no diabolical trickery in them. Such trials, happily confronted and overcome, increased his fame for sanctity among Friars and strangers.

Humilis was also blessed with extraordinary gifts of reading hearts, prophecy, miracles and, especially, of infused knowledge. Although he was illiterate and without education, Humilis responded to questions on Sacred Scripture and on any point whatsoever of Catholic doctrine with a precision that astounded theologians.

Advisor to the Popes

Brother Benigno Genova, Minister General of the Order, brought Humilis as a companion on his canonical visitation to the Friars Minor of Calabria and Sicily. Humilis enjoyed the confidence of the Supreme Pontiffs Gregory XV and Urban VIII, who called him to Rome and, through a rigorous examination, made use of his prayers and advice. He remained many years in Rome, where he lived almost always in the Convent of St. Francis of Ripa and, for a few months, in that of St. Isidore.

About 1628, Humilis asked to be allowed “to go to suffer” in mission territory. Having received a negative reply from his superiors, Humilis continued to serve the Kingdom of God among his own people, taking care of the most needy, the marginalised and the forgotten. His life was “an incessant prayer for all human beings”. His prayers were simple, but flowed from the heart.

His Death

Illness finally forced Humilis to return to his convent at Bisignano for medical attention. But his life was drawing to a close. He suffered severe pains with dauntless patience until the moment of his death. Crucifix in hand, he fixed his eyes intently on it and entered into celestial joy on November 16, 1637 in Bisignano, Cosenza, Italy.

Born:                   August 26, 1582 in Bisignano, Cosenza, Italy

Died:                   November 26, 1838 in Bisignano, Cosenza, Italy

Beatified:           January 29, 1882 by Pope Leo XIII

Canonized:        May 19, 2022 by Pope John Paul II

Feast Day:          November 27

Patron Saint:    Bisignano, Italy

Source:

Reflection

Saint Umile da Bisignano was illiterate and had no education. The mystery of his life is certainly the mystery of a God who does great things in any person who believes in Him and who fully entrusts himself to His love and dedicating himself entirely to His service. Saint Umile put that knowledge at the service of one goal: build the Kingdom of Christ, in his heart and in every heart. 

Do you feel that you are not “good enough” to do God’s work? Remember believe and entrust yourself to God and He will do the rest, as he did for Saint Umile.

Prayers

St. Umile da Bisignano, you kept faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May your prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection you have shown us in your Son, Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

St. Umile da Bisignano, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

AirMaria – St. Humilis of Bisignano – Franciscan Saint of the Day

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Humilis of Bisignano

CatholicSaints.Info – Father Silas Barth, O.F.M. Franciscan Herald

RC Spirituality – St Humilis de Bisignano

Steven Wood – Saint Umile Da Bisignano (1582 – 1637)

Vatican – Saint Umile da Bisignano (1582 – 1637)

Wikipedia – Humilis of Bisignano

Video Link