St. Vincent Strambi (January 1, 1745-January 1, 1824)
Bishop of Macereta and Tolentino (1801-1823)
St. Vincent Strambi was born at Civitavechia, Italy, in 1745. Ordained to the priesthood in 1767, he joined the Passionists the following year. Strambi held a number of posts within the order for decades. In 1798 the saint fled Rome when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the Papal States and instituted anti-Roman Catholic decrees. The French forces captured Strambi in 1799, but the saint, released, returned to Rome the following year. About that time, the Papal Conclave of 1800 convened to fill the vacancy created when Pius VI died in Napoleonic captivity. Strambi was a candidate in that election, which Pius VII won.
Rome made St. Vincent Strambi Bishop of Macereta and Tolentino in 1801. As Bishop, the saint devoted himself to improving priestly education and formation, to raising funds to benefit the poor, and to the founding of orphanages and homes for the elderly. Napoleon Bonaparte, as Emperor Napoleon I, interrupted Strambi’s good work in 1808 by annexing Macereta to the French Empire. The saint refused the imperial command to swear loyalty to Napoleon I, and was thus arrested and exiled. (Emperors are such control freaks!) Yet Strambi returned to his diocese in 1814, to much acclaim among this people and Pope Pius VII, and devoted himself to rebuilding the diocese after the Napoleonic Wars.
St. Vincent Strambi retired in 1823 to become personal advisor to Pope Leo XII. Strambi’s retirement was brief, however, for he died on New Year’s Day, 1824.
Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church, including your servant, St. Vincent Strambi. May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith, so that we may serve and confess your name before the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47