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Monday, October 23, 2017
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Daily Saint


March 15: St. Zachary

St. Zachary was a Benedictine monk from Greece who lived in the eighth century. He became a cardinal and then pope. In his time, there was fighting all over Italy. Pope St. Zachary kept making peace and saving people from terrible wars. At times he risked his life to do it.

It was because the saint was so gentle and kind that the leaders did what he asked. Even for his enemies he would do favors and give them the kindest treatment possible. He never took revenge on them. When Pope Zachary learned that the Lombards were about to attack Rome, he asked to have a meeting with their leader. The pope and Liutprand of the Lombards met. Whatever they said to each other, the results were impressive. Liutprand canceled his attack. He also returned all territory taken in that area over the previous thirty years. He even released all prisoners. Liutprand signed a twenty-year treaty in which the Romans would be guaranteed freedom from attacks from the Lombards.

St. Zachary was also known as a real father toward the poor. He built homes for the poor and for travelers. His loving heart could not bear to see people suffer. Once he heard that some businessmen had bought poor slaves in Rome and were going to sell them in Africa. He called those men and scolded them for being so cruel. Then he paid them the price they were asking for the slaves and set the slaves free. When St. Zachary died in 752, all the people were saddened to have lost such a good and saintly father.

Reflection: Resolving conflicts requires great humility and compassion. Let us pray for these two virtues that were so present in the life of St. Zachary.