SAINT IGNATIUS of LÀCONI (1701-1781), religious brother
Today, the Church honors Saint Ignatius of Làconi, whose life-long vocation was that of a beggar in humble service to God, for poverty was all he knew, even from his early childhood.
The second of seven children, Ignatius was born in 1701 in the village of Làconi on Sardinia, a large island off the west coast of Italy. He was born into a poor farming family, and Francis Ignatius Vincent Peis was so named because his mother called upon the intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi for a safe delivery, since she was suffering through a difficult pregnancy.
His mother promised the saint that she would name her unborn baby Francis and would consecrate his life to God.
Francis demonstrated a capacity for hard work in the fields and a strong piety since his early childhood. He would often be seen in prayer and was known to wait at the church doors every morning in prayer until they were opened.
He wanted to join the Order of Capuchins as a teenager, but his father would not allow him, because the family depended on his labor to survive. However, after surviving a riding accident which he believed to be through God’s intervention at the age of twenty, he decided to enter the Capuchin monastery in Cagliari at once, and took his vows a year later, taking his second name, Ignatius, as his religious name.
Brother Ignatius spent his first 15 years as a Capuchin doing various menial jobs around the monastery; and, for the remainder of his life, he was appointed “questor” (official beggar) for the monastery. In this capacity, he would walk around the town collecting food and donations for the friars.
He was particularly well loved by the poor and by children, and was often given alms by those who barely had anything to give. He refused them from the very poor, saying that it was better for them to keep it for themselves.
He tended to the sick and to street children everyday on his rounds throughout the town, and many miracles of healing were said to have occurred through his intercession before God’s Mercy. By those who loved and respected him, he became known by the title “the Apostle of the Streets”.
Brother Ignatius, who had always been close to the Crucified Christ, died a happy death, united with Jesus, in Saint Anthony’s Friary Infirmary in Cagliari, on May 11, 1781; and he was interred in a specially prepared crypt beside the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels. Brother Ignatius was canonized a saint on October 21, 1951 by Venerable Pope Pius XII.
We commemorate his feastday on May 11.
(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org and capuchin.or.kr)
(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Men ~ religious)
“Lord God, You kept Saint Ignatius of Làconi faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May his prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection You have shown us in Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”