Franciscan Saints
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24th October

Blessed Balthassar of Chiavari

Confessor, First Order

Beatified  8 January 1930 by Pope Pius XI (cultus confirmed), Feast day 17 October

This saintly man was a descendant of an ancient noble family. He spent his years on earth in faultless purity. As a Franciscan he was professor of theology and then provincial of the order. He was outstanding  in all the virtues of a good religious, he practiced the greatest personal austerities fasted much, and considered it a real pleasure to be accounted the last among his brethren.

 After he had completed his term in office, Blessed Balthassar of Chiavari withdrew to the convent at Binasco. There he devoted himself entirely to the contemplation of heavenly things and to the salvation of immortal souls. He toiled indefatigably in the pulpit and in the confessional. We can labour for souls by our words. He followed the admonition of the Apostle of the Gentiles: �Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine� (2 Tim. 4, 2). A kind word will always find a place to rest.

We can also labour for souls by our good example. While Balthassar was a superior in the order, he set a good example to his subjects. Words stir people, but example carries them away, says a Latin proverb. Hence, St Paul says to Timothy: �Be an example to the faithful in word, in conversation.� (I Tim 4, 12). It seemed the Lord�s will to afflict Balthassar with painful chronic illness One day, however, he was favoured with a visit of the Blessed Mother of God, who greatly strengthened and comforted him. When he was seventy-three years old, he was summoned by Sister Death to enter into eternal rest.

Blessed Balthassar of Chiavari died in the year 1492. His persevering fidelity to the rule and his indefatigable zeal for souls merited for him eternal happiness. Pope Pius XI confirmed the Cultus in 1930. The Franciscan Blessed Balthassar was a fellow preacher with Blessed Bernardino of Feltre. He is venerated in the diocese of Pavia, Italy (Benedictines).



Prayer of the church

O almighty God, who didst appoint Thy blessed confessor Balthassar to serve Thee

 worthily both in the pulpit and in the confessional, mercifully hear our prayers,

and grant us through his merits and intercession, the grace to labour incessantly

 for the salvation of souls and produce worthy acts of virtue.

Through the same Christ Our Lord  Who liveth �and reigneth

with Thee  and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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