Blessed John of Rieti - 2nd August

At Rieti there was a young religious named John. He was simple, humble, always happy. He followed the same lifestyple as his fellow friars insofar as concerns both food and drink. However, he had a particular character.

He loved very much the other friars; he lived with them in a charitable manner, never uttering words or doing anything contrary to the rules of love for our neighbour. He treated everybody lovingly, above all the sick and foreigners; he used to wash their feet and to cloth them, giving them new clothes, and he did everything with great happiness.

Frequently, he used to stay on his own in the convent’s garden and, after he emerged from there, one would notice him weeping heavily. Once he was asked why he cired and he replied that becasue he saw the greenery, trees, birds and all the fruits of the earth. They obeyed God whilst mankind, although  promised eternal life for being obedient, disobeyed the laws given them by the Creator. That is why, he said, I cry. It so happened that, before he died, a bird (a robin redbreast) used to come singing by his window. The friars were amazed by this fact and they asked him to explain this happening. With a smile in his face, he told them that the bird was his bride inviting him to heaven.

Once whilst he was serving at Mass, he saw a heavenly light reflected on the altar, he felt sick and died. After his death, many miracles started to happen through his intercession and, in the first year, these numbered 150.

Giordano di Sassonia, o.s.a. (+ 1380)


John (known as “Ġwanninu”) was born around the years 1315/8 at Castel Porchiano near Amelia, Umbria. He joined the Order whe he was still young, was sent to Rieti wher he remained until his death in 1336(?). His remains are present at the St. Augustinian Church, Rieti.

In 1832 Pope Gregory XVI beatified him.


HERRERA, I 371 s.; TORELLI, L., OSA., Secoli agostiniani V 572-77; Sacra Rituum Congregazione. Confirmationis cultus immemorabilis B. Joannis de Reate, Romae 1832; CAPANAGA, V., OAR., El Beato Juan de R. Borrones de una semblanza, Zaragoza 1938; *GIACOMINI, A,M., OSA., B., G., di Castel Porchiano, beato, in BS. III, Roma 1962 (rist. 1983), c. 588-589; ABRESMANN, R., OSA., A Legendry of Early Augustinian Saints, in AA.29 (1966) 29-33; GUTIÉRREZ, D., OSA I/1, 161-162 (trad. it. 320-32).

*Liber Vitasfratrum, II 5; ed. Arbesmann, R.- Hümpfner, W., OSA., New York 1943, 105  106 (combined translation).

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