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Ignatius of Laconi

(1701—1781)


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(1701–81),

Capuchin lay brother. Born at Laconi (Sardinia) of a poor but devout family, Ignatius became a lay brother at Buoncammino, near Cagliari, after a shock caused by his horse bolting, although it left him unharmed. This was in 1721. In 1741, known for love of prayer, solitude, and silence, he was appointed questor (begging for alms): he travelled on foot in all weathers. He held this office for the rest of his life, meeting sometimes with refusals and contradictions; but it gave him scope to exercise his gentle love of children, the poor, and the sick.

An unusual legend relates that he would never ask for alms from an unscrupulous moneylender, who complained of this neglect. The local Guardian told Ignatius to call on him and he returned with a sack of food. When it was opened, it dripped with blood.

More authentic is a contemporary description (confirmed by a surviving portrait at Cagliari) of him as of medium height with slight features, with white hair and beard, upright in gait and easy in manner. Other accounts tell of levitations and miracles of healing. He was canonized in 1951. Feast 11 May.

Letters concerning Ignatius ed. by J. Fues (1899); Lives by S. da Chiaramonte (1940) and F. Majella (1946); see also B.L.S., v. 62; Bibl. SS., vii. 672–4.

Subjects: Christianity.


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