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Death: 1485


Born near Vilna, Lithuania, Michael Giedroyc, a dwarf in stature, lost the use of one foot at an early age after an accident. In his youth he divided his time between prayer and the making of pyxes for the carrying of Viaticum to the dying. He hung about his neck a cross to serve as a constant reminder of God. After entering the monastery of Augustinian Canons in Krakow, Poland, Michael obtained permission to live an eremitical life in a cramped cell adjoining the Augustinians’ church. His biographer observes, “The church was his home by day and by night, to pray there, to keep watch, to bend the knee.” He was particularly drawn to pray before a crucifix in the middle of the church, from which on one occasion he heard Christ speaking to him. It was while kneeling in prayer that Michael died after receiving absolution and extreme unction.


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