Giovanni Colombini


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founder of the Gesuati. A wealthy merchant of Siena, he was moved by reading a Life of St Mary of Egypt when he was about 50. He then devoted himself to the service of the poor and sick, later persuading his wife to accept separation. When his example was followed by other young nobles, the city authorities exiled him; he was recalled when an epidemic broke out. In 1367 he and his followers were formally constituted into the congregation of the Gesuati. Feast day, 31 July.

Subjects: Christianity.

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