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Tuesday, July 12, 2016
St. John Gualbert, Model of Forgiveness

Double (1955 Calendar): July 12

This painting of St. John Gualbert by the Italian Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1753, oil on canvas), showcases the extraordinary spiritual awakening of this Florentine saint.

Saint John Gualbert was born in Florence during the eleventh century. He had a younger brother who had been murdered; Gualbert pursued the murderer and was about to slay him, when the assassin extended his arms in the shape of a cross and asked for mercy in the name of Jesus Christ.  Fittingly, it was on Good Friday that the solder, John Gualbert, encountered the assassin. 
Instead of exacting revenge, Gualbert embraced his brother’s killer. Afterward Gualbert entered a nearby church to give thanks for having resisted the impulse to commit murder. As he prayed, the image of Christ on the crucifix appeared to incline his head toward him. Gualbert was moved to forsake the world and enter a Benedictine monastery, and later founded the Vallombrosan monastic order.  His Order helped spread a revival of faith and morals throughout Italy.

The exaple of St. Gualbert shows us the extraordinary gift of God's grace in our lives to forgive others, as He has forgiven us by crucifying his Son by our sins, offenses, and ingratitudes. 


Let the blessed Abbot John intercede for us, O Lord. may his prayers win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal


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