Image Source = JacobH
SAINT JOHN GUALBERT (CIRCA 993-1073)
Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Founder of the Vallombrosan Benedictines
A nobleman raised in Florence, Italy, St. John Gualbert enjoyed many material pleasures and became a soldier. One day when he was a young man, someone murdered his brother, Hugh. The vengeful John sought to locate and kill the murderer, whom he found on Good Friday. The man fell on his knees. The saint, inspired by the example of Christ, who forgave his murderers from the cross, forgave and embraced the man.
Shortly thereafter the saint began to live as a penitent at a local monastery. In time he founded his own faith community, at Vallombrosa, devoted to simple and holy living. Even the architecture was simple. He and his fellow monks, who followed the Rule of St. Benedict, tamed the wilderness near their monastery, converting the terrain into parkland. Influential people, including Popes, visited the humble abbot to seek advice.
St. John Gualbert is the patron of foresters and park keepers, appropriately.
That was his spiritual journey, informed by the mercies of Jesus. What shape will yours take?
In case anyone wonders, yes, I wrote the collect and chose the readings which follow.
Lord Jesus Christ, from the cross you forgave those who murdered you and those who consented to the perfidious deed. We thank you for the holy example you set and which St. John Gualbert emulated. May forgiveness and humility in following you mark our lives and become positive influences upon others. Amen.
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 27:30-28:7
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JUNE 1, 2011 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF ST. JUSTIN MARTYR, APOLOGIST AND MARTYR