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Friday, July 28, 2017
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St. Ignatius of Laconi

Feast Day: May 11
Born: 1701 :: Died: 1781

Ignatius was born at Laconi, Sardinia in Italy. He was the son of a poor farmer with seven children and Ignatius grew up working in the fields. When he was about seventeen, he became very ill and Ignatius promised God he would become a Franciscan if he got cured. But when the illness left him, his father convinced him to wait.

Two years later, Ignatius was almost killed when he lost control of his horse. But suddenly, the horse stopped and trotted on quietly. Ignatius was certain, then, that God had saved his life. He made up his mind to follow his religious calling and became a Franciscan friar at once.

Brother Ignatius never had any important position in the Franciscan order. For fifteen years he worked in the weaving shed. Then, for forty years, he was part of the team who went from house to house asking for food and donations to support the friars.

Ignatius visited families and received their gift. But the people soon realized that they received a gift in return. Brother Ignatius consoled the sick and lonely and cheered the children of the street. He made peace between enemies, softened the hearts of people that had become hardened by sin and advised those in trouble. They began to wait for his visits.

There were some difficult days, too. Once in a while, a door was slammed in his face, and often the weather was bad. Always, there were miles and miles to walk. But Ignatius did his duty well.

People noticed that Ignatius always skipped the house of a rich moneylender. This man never forgave a debt and made the poor pay back much more than they could afford. He felt bad because Ignatius never visited his home to ask for donations and complained to Brother Ignatius' superior.

The superior knew nothing about the moneylender so he sent Ignatius to his home. Brother Ignatius obeyed without a word. He returned with a large sack of food. It was then that God worked a miracle. When the sack was emptied, blood dripped out.

"This is the blood of the poor," Ignatius explained softly. "That is why I never ask for anything at that house." The friars began to pray that the moneylender would repent. Brother Ignatius died at the age of eighty, on May 11, 1781.

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