Spirituality for Today – September 2009 – Volume 14, Issue 2

Saint of the Month

St. Vincent Strambi – September 24

A photo of Saint Vincent StrambiSt. Vincent Strambi

St. Vincent Maria Strambi was born on January 1, 1745 in the town of Civitavecchia, north of Rome, to a rather wealthy family. The boy studied at home. When he felt drawn to priesthood, his father, who wanted his only son to be his heir, was very reluctant. Even before ordination, Vincent was given the task of administering a seminary in Bagnorea. When preparing for ordination he took a retreat in St. Angelo Passionist Monastery in Vetralla near Viterbo. There he got to know a new congregation, approved in 1741, and its founder St. Paul of the Cross. As a result, he turned in his priest's robes for a monk's habit. That annoyed his father even more; he accepted Vincent's decision only after the mediation of St. Paul.

Fr. Vincent taught in the Passionist seminary in Rome and held important positions in the congregation's administration. Famous for his excellent speaking skills, he was often asked by the Holy See to calm agitated people during the frequent riots in Rome. In 1801 he was appointed bishop and moved to Macerata on the Adriatic coast.

His work in the diocese was interrupted by Napoleonic occupation. Fr. Vincent was in exile from 1808 to 1814 as he refused to pledge allegiance to the Republic, which meant forsaking loyalty to the pope. After Napoleon's downfall, he came back to the diocese. His return was a godsend since without his determined intervention the town would have been destroyed by the Austrians. From 1823 until his death he was a personal advisor to Pope Leo XII.

Fr. Vincent died on January 1, 1824. He was canonized on April 11, 1950.

only You are the best Shepherd of Your Church.
Support with grace those we are responsible
for the fate of Your fold,
so that following the example of St. Vincent Maria Strambi,
they devote all their powers and talents to service to the Church.
You live and reign for ages and ages.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives