Henry was born at Bolzano, in the Tyrol region of Italy. Henry's family was very poor, and they could not send him to school, so he did not learn how to read and write. But he studied earnestly the ways of God.
When he was a teenager, he went to Treviso looking for work and became a day laborer. Not many people knew that he kept only what money he absolutely needed for the day and gave the rest away to the poor. He never saved any money for the next day.
He went to Mass daily, confessed his sins and received communion. Henry loved the sacrament of Reconciliation and found this sacrament of a forgiving God very encouraging.
People began to notice what a good Christian Henry was. As penance he worked very hard, however difficult the job he was given and he did it cheerfully. He put aside enough time every day for private prayer, usually at church, trying hard not to draw attention to himself.
Henry was known for his calm and gentle ways. People teased him because he was so simple. And as he got older, children made fun of him because he looked so shabby and stooped. But Henry didn't mind. He realized that they did not know they were hurting him and answered them with kind words and a prayer.
When Henry was too old and frail to work, a friend James Castagnolis, brought him into his own home. Mr. Castagnolis gave Henry a room, and food whenever he would accept it. Blessed Henry insisted that he live on the alms of the people of Treviso.
They were generous in their donations of food because they knew he shared their gifts with many people who were poor and homeless. Henry as always, only kept what he needed and gave the rest away to those more needy than himself.
By the end of his life, Henry could barely walk. People watched with awe as the old man dragged himself to morning Mass. Often he would visit other local churches as well, painfully moving toward each destination. What a mystery this good man was.
When he died on June 10, 1315, people crowded into his little room. They wanted a relic, a keepsake. They found his treasures: a prickly hair-shirt, a log of wood that was his pillow, some straw that was the mattress for his bed.
His body was moved to the cathedral so that all the people could pay their tribute. Two hundred and seventy six miracles were reported within a few days after his death.
Simplicity and generosity marked the life of this holy man. How do I live my life as a Christian?