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Bl. Bartolo (Bartholomew) of San Gimignano

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Birth: 1228
Death: 1300

Having fled a life of luxury, Bartolo Buonpedoni, of San Gimignano, Italy, served as a lay infirmarian at a Benedictine monastery in Pisa. While there, he considered becoming a Benedictine himself. But one night he experienced a vision of Christ covered with wounds, and telling him, "Bartolo, it is not in the monastic habit that you are to win the crown that is prepared for you, but in the suffering which will wound your body for twenty years." The full meaning of these words was to be revealed much later, after Bartolo had spent many years serving God as a diocesan priest and a Third Order Franciscan. At the age of fifty-two he was stricken with a form of leprosy. He thereupon left his parish and entered a leper hospital, where he became chaplain, celebrating Mass daily for the patients. Remarkably, the touch of his leprous hands wrought miracles in others. When following Bartolo's death the maid who had attended to his needs knelt beside his open casket and wept, one hand of the dead priest amazingly reached for her hand and grasped it for five hours, as if to comfort her.


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