Above: Blessed John Cacciafronte
Image in the Public Domain
BLESSED JOHN CACCIAFRONTE (CIRCA 1125-MARCH 16, 1183)
Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop, and Martyr
Also known as Blessed John de Surdis, John Sordi, and Giovanni de Surdis Cacciafronte
Blessed John Cacciafronte, born circa 1125, was a native of Cremona, Italy. He spent time as a monk at St. Lawrence Abbey there. In 1155 he became the abbot. Cacciafronte sided with Pope Alexander III (1159-1181) in the dispute with Antipope Victor IV (1159-1164). This fact placed Cacciafronte in conflict with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (reigned 1155-1190), whom Alexander III had excommunicated in 1160 for supporting Victor IV. Barbarossa exiled our saint, who became a hermit near Sordi. In 1174 our saint became the Bishop of Mantua, replacing a man removed from office due to transgressions. Three years later the penitent bishop sought to return to office, so Cacciafronte willingly returned to life as a hermit. He was a hermit at Vicenza, Italy. On March 16, 1183, Cacciafronte was rebuking a man who had embezzled church funds. That man murdered our saint.
The Roman Catholic Church lists our saint as a martyr.
Pope Leo XII beatified him in 1824.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JANUARY 20, 2017 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT FABIAN, BISHOP OF ROME AND MARTYR
THE FEAST OF SAINTS DEICOLA AND GALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS; AND OTHMAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AT SAINT GALLEN
THE FEAST OF SAINTS EUTHYMIUS THE GREAT AND THEOCRISTUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS
THE FEAST OF HARRIET AUBER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER
Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women
who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.
Inspire us with the memory of Blessed John Cacciafronte,
whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,
and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives
to your Son’s victory over sin and death,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59