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Bl. Andrew Segni (of Anagni)

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Death: ~1302

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A native of Anagni, Italy, Andrew Segni left his family castle and his privileged place in the world to become a Franciscan brother in a friary situated in the Apennine Mountains. Aspiring to even greater solitude, he obtained permission to live in a remote grotto near the friary. This cave was so small that while in it Andrew, tall in stature, could not stand erect, but instead had to kneel or stoop. Here, overcoming demonic temptations, he devoted himself to contemplation and penance. To his prayer life Andrew joined religious studies, which bore fruit in a treatise he composed concerning the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This work, much admired in its time, has since been lost. A touching marvel is told of Andrew. On one occasion when he was too ill to eat his usual food, a friend thought to assuage his illness by bringing him as nourishment a plate of roasted birds. But Andrew was so grieved to see the birds slain that he made the sign of the cross over them, bringing the birds back to life. The birds thereupon chirped with joy and flew away.

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