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St. Theobald

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Born at Provins in the Province of Champagne, France, in 1017; died at Salanigo in Italy 30 June, 1066. He was a member of a noble family. In 1054 without the knowledge of his parents he and his friend Walter gave themselves to the life of hermits at Sussy in the Ardennes, then at Pittingen (now Pettingen) in the Diocese of Trier, a district that today belongs to the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. From this place the two made a pilgrimage to Compostella in Spain, and afterwards returned into the territory of Trier. They made a second pilgrimage to Rome. As they returned they desired to go to Palestine by way of Venice, but Walter's strength failed near Salanigo in the Diocese of Vicenza. They therefore settled in a solitary place near Salanigo. After two years Walter died. A large number of disciples eager for salvation gathered around Theobald, who severed himself more and more from all earthly things. The bishop ordained him priest. His mother, who came to visit him, did not wish to leave him again, and led thenceforth under his direction a religious life.

Shortly before his death he entered the Camaldolese Order. Numerous miracles, some occurring before and some after his death, are reported of him. Alexander II (1061-1073) permitted the public veneration of St. Theobald. His veneration spread especially in Italy, France, Belgium, and Luxemburg. He is the patron saint of charcoal-burners.

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