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St. Theofrid (Chaffre) of Orange

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Feastday: October 19
Death: 732

Theofrid, of Orange, France, became abbot of the monastery of Calmeliac, near Le Puy. When in 732 Moorish invaders advancing across southern France drew near Calmeliac, Theofrid instructed the other monks to flee into the forest and hide there. As for himself, he resolved to remain near the monastery, having explained, "It is not fitting that in a time of persecution the shepherd should flee." Two of the other monks insisted upon remaining with him. After raiding the monastery and finding it deserted, the Moors discovered Theofrid nearby, prostrate in prayer. They thereupon dragged him away and beat him. Theofrid told his attackers, "It is fitting to suffer for the sheep, and by our death save them." In the end, one of the Moors gravely wounded Theofrid in the head with a stone. But scarcely had the abbot fallen to the ground when the earth quaked and "a very dark storm cloud" overshadowed the scene, unleashing a barrage of lightning, hail, and a tornado that dispelled the attackers. The other monks returned to find Theofrid still alive, but close to death. He died seven days later.


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