Saint Baudolino (c. 700 – c. 740) was a hermit who lived at the time of the Lombard king Liutprand in Forum Fulvii (now Villa del Foro), a locality on the lower reaches of the river Tanaro in north-west Italy. He is said to have been the son of a noble family, but to have given all his wealth to the poor before moving to a miserable hut near the river. He is the patron saint of the nearby city of Alessandria, where his feast is celebrated on the Sunday following 10 November.
He is first mentioned in the Historia Langobardorum (English: History of the Lombards) which was written some forty years after his death by Paul the Deacon. Baodolinus is described there as “a man of wonderful holiness…who was distinguished for many miracles”, and as having been endowed with the gifts of clairvoyance and prophecy. One specific miracle is recorded. When Liutprand is hunting in the forest near Forum, and his nephew Aufusus is accidentally injured by an arrow, the king sends to Baodolinus asking him to pray for the life of the boy. But the messenger receives the reply: "I know for what cause you are coming, but that which you have been sent to ask cannot be done since the boy is dead." Aufusus had indeed died and Liutprand understood that Baodolinus had the spirit of prophecy. Baudolino died around 740 and was laid to rest at Forum Fulvii.
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By Justin Soutar
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