St. Conrad of Piacenza
Welcome to KNOW YOUR SAINTS! a Sunday blog that features a saint whose feast day is celebrated during the following week. Be sure to find the poll located at the end of this post to vote for upcoming featured saints!
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St. Conrad of Piacenza
1290 – 1351
Feast Day February 19th
Allow me to introduce you to St. Conrad, a man who gave up everything in order to secure his place in heaven. And when I say ‘everything’, I mean it in the very modern worldly sense. Conrad was born into aristocracy and married aristocracy. He did aristocratic activities and generally lived an aristocratic life, free of worry and care. He was pious enough to be considered ‘good.’ However, his ‘nobility’ was to be tested after a fateful day of hunting.
In order to flush out game, he had his attendants set fire to brush. Unfortunately, a gust of wind caused this fire to flush out an entire forest and nearby villages as well. Our hero fled, allowing a peasant to be tried, tortured into confessing and sentenced to death for the fire. Before the sentence was carried out, Conrad decided to ‘man up’, confessed, and paid for all the damaged property.
It was at this point in his life that Conrad realized that ‘good enough’ was not good enough in order to get into heaven. He and his wife decided that the fire and resulting events were a sign from God that they needed to go their separate ways. They gave what was left of their belongings to the poor. She became a Poor Clare nun, and he a Franciscan hermit, seeking solitude and prayer.
Fame was determined to drag Conrad to hell, however, as word of his holiness and ability to heal, spread. Visitors from far and wide threatened his solitude repeatedly. So, knowing that ‘good enough for a hermit’ was still not good enough for his own soul, he made his way into a remote valley in Sicily, where he remained as a hermit -for real this time- for 36 years. It is said that he died while kneeling before a crucifix, and that his body was found to be incorrupt in the 1400’s.
Help us, St. Conrad, to see God’s hand in our lives, guiding us and leading us into heaven, even if it means choosing what may be difficult or contrary to what we think is good or good for us. Pray that we may seek God in stillness, and learn to contemplate His mysteries. Amen
Before I end today, I would like to make a deal with you, the reader. You see, last week and a couple of weeks before I’ve only had three votes on the weekly poll choosing the saint. That’s it, so I assume there’s only three of you out there reading this (and you’re probably all related to me… thanks guys!). So here’s the thing. Over the next few weeks until Lent, I need to see more votes on the poll in order to continue this blog. Now, I don’t plan on trying too hard on my own to increase readership – I’m doing this primarily for you, so it’s your job to get more votes. Should the poll numbers stay down, I’ll simply move this portion of the blog to my other blog, Sheridanigans, and post about the saints occasionally. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to below, otherwise vote and share! Thanks for following me so far this year!
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