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Bl. Andrew of Strumi

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Death: ~1097

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In the mid-eleventh century, the Italian city of Milan was ruled by a corrupt archbishop named Guido who took a permissive attitude toward the ecclesiastical abuses of simony (the buying or selling of ecclesiastical offices) and clerical immorality (priests living with concubines). Those working to stop these abuses were led by the deacon (Saint) Arialdo, supported by his close friend, Andrew, from Parma. The Holy See sided with Arialdo and excommunicated the archbishop himself, charging him with the crime of simony. Guido retaliated by having Arialdo tortured and murdered. Arialdo's friend Andrew saw to his honorable burial, and afterward entered the Vallombrosan Order. He subsequently became abbot of the Vallombrosan monastery of Strumi, where he took up his pen to write biographies of his martyred friend Arialdo and of the Vallombrosans' founder, Saint John Gualbert. Sadly, most of Andrew's writings were later lost in a sixteenth century fire at the Vallombrosans' Florence monastery. Andrew was a peacemaker, credited with reconciling in his lifetime the opposing cities of Florence and Arezzo.

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