Holy Spirit Interactive
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Inside HSI Kids


St. John Gaulbert

Feast Day: July 12
Born: (around) 985 :: Died: 1073

St. John was born into a rich non-Christian family in Florence, Italy, as Giovanni Gualberto. He and his father were terribly shocked when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered. The man who did it was supposed to have been Hugh's friend. Supported by his father and fed by his own anger, John decided to track down his brother’s killer and make him pay for his crime.

On Good Friday, John finally came face to face with the murderer in a narrow passageway. John drew his sword and began walking toward the man. Hugh's killer fell to his knees, with his arms crossed on his chest and begged forgiveness for love of Jesus who died on the cross.

With a great effort, John dropped his sword, embraced his enemy and continued down the road. Coming upon a monastery church, he went in and kneeling before the crucifix, he asked forgiveness for his sins. Then a miracle happened! Jesus bowed his head upon the cross. John felt peaceful and knew that by forgiving his enemy his own sins had been forgiven.

Such a change came over him that he immediately converted to Christianity and became a follower of Jesus. He asked the abbot of the San Miniato del Monte monastery if he could join the monks there. When John's father heard about it, he said he would burn the whole monastery if his son did not come out.

The Benedictine monks did not know what to do. John solved the problem by cutting off his hair and borrowing a habit from one of the monks. His father could not help being impressed and he let him remain. St. John later started his own community of monks and built a monastery by hand following a stricter life.

John became a model for imitating the poor lifestyle of Jesus. He also took wonderful care of all the poor people who came to the monastery gate. God granted him power to work miracles, to give wise guidance and tell the future. Even Pope St. Leo IX went to St. John to seek his advice. St. John died on July 12, 1073 at Passignano near Florence in Italy.

Reflection: "Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”-the Lord's Prayer

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