Pellegrino Laziosi


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Philip Benizi (c. 1233—1285)


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Servite friar and priest. Born at Forli (Romagna), he became very active in politics, strongly supporting the Ghibelline (anti-papal) party. At one meeting tempers became so heated that he physically attacked Philip Benizi, the Servite General Superior, who however literally turned the other cheek. This caused Pellegrino to repent. He joined the Servites in c.1292 at Siena, where he devoted himself to prayer, reading, penance, and almsgiving.

In 1322 he founded a new friary at Forli, near Ravenna. His reputation as preacher and director grew, so did his special reverence in saying Mass. Many miracles were attributed to him; of one he himself was the beneficiary. For many years he had suffered from severe varicose veins in the right foot; doctors decided to amputate it the next day as all other remedies had failed. He prayed long that night and woke up on the morrow completely healed.

He died on 1 May, aged eighty, and miracles were reported at his tomb. The immemorial cult was approved by the Holy See in 1609; he was canonized in 1726. Feast: 3 (formerly 1) May.

Life by Niccolo Borghese (15th century) for which see A. M. Serra, Niccolo Borghese e i suoi scritti agiografici servitani (1966); other Lives by G. M. Albarelli (1943) and P. M. Armadori (1930); see also B.L.S., v. 5; Bibl.SS., x. 468–80.

Subjects: Christianity.

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