Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

3rd July

 

 

The Servant of God Andrew of Burgio

 

Confessor, First Order

 

 

Andrew, the son of wealthy country folk at Burgio on the island of Sicily, was born in 1705. By word and example his parents led their children on to virtue. They soon noticed in their youngest son, Andrew, the beautiful fruits of their training.

To modesty, meekness and docility, he also united fervent piety. As a boy Andrew delighted in reading Bible History and other good books found in his home. He was present at all the services that took place in church, and there he edifled all by his devotion. At home he prayed a great deal in private, particularly before an image of our Saviour at the pillar of scourging, before which he burned a light each evening.

When he was old enough, he gladly did his share of the work, obeying his parents in the smallest   detail, and being friendly with all with whom he had to deal. The careless habits of a near relative who often worked with him caused him much anxiety. Andrew’s admonitions brought no results; but by being kind to the offender, humoring him in all permissible things, and praying for him, Andrew finally changed his sentiments so that at length he imitated Andrew’s devout life.

When Andrew was twenty-two years old, his father died, and left him the care of the household and of the family. Two years later the mother died also, and then matters took on an unpleasant turn. His elder brother, who had been reared by relatives and was now married, had never previously been concerned about his parental home, but now he claimed possession of the best of all there was. Andrew was given to understand that some smaller items were left to him as a favor. He remonstrated, but in order to keep peace, he yielded. Later, when his brother’s wife and then the brother himself died, he sincerely mourned their deaths and took their child into his home and cared for it as if it were his own.

His desire to withdraw from the world and to dedicate him self to Cod continued to gain strength. He declined some line proposals of marriage which his relatives commended to him, and took pains to provide for his sisters and for his brother’s child. When they were amply provided for, he entered the Capuchin convent in his home town as a lay brother. This occurred in 1735, when he was thirty years of age.

In the convent Andrew led a most austere life. With the permission of his superiors, he partook only of bread and water, scourged his body until he bled and observed the severe regulations of the order with great exactitude. In addition, his superiors considered it necessary, because of his advanced years, to subject him to a rigorous probation. Hence, they frequently found fault with him and humiliated him before the entire community. At such times Andrew acknowledged his unworthiness, asked for a penance, and begged them to have patience with him a little longer, and assured them that he would earnestly endeavor to mend his ways. In this way Cod increased grace in His humble servant.

At prayer Andrew was completely absorbed in his devotions and was often seen to be raised above the ground. Once when he came upon a cripple lying in the street, Andrew asked him why he did not rise. The unfortunate man answered: “How can I when I have been crippled ever since my birth?” Then Andrew took him by the hand and said: “Rise in the name of ]esus.” And he arose and was completely cured.

In his zeal for the salvation of souls, Brother Andrew, at his own request, was sent for seven years to the missions of the Congo in Africa. There his patience in the greatest hardships, his virtues, and his miracles were such that everyone called him a saint. When his term of service expired, the superior of the missions begged him to remain. Andrew promptly yielded to his wishes and remained ten years more, until his superiors recalled him to Sicily.

Worn out in the service of God and of his order, he died at Palermo in 1772, rich in graces. Miracles continued to occur at his grave, for which reason the process of his beatification was introduced in 1835.

 

 

Prayer of the Church

 

Clothe us, O Lord Jesus, with the virtues and inflame us with

the affections of Thy Sacred Heart, so that we may be conformed

to Thy image and become partakers of Thy redemption.

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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Last edited 13/09/2017 10:12 
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