Blessed Cherubin Testa of Avigliana

Cherubin, an only son, was born in Avigliana (Torino), Italy, in 1451, where he entered the Augustinian Order at the age of twenty. He died eight years later, on 17 December, 1479, barely eight months after his ordination as a priest.

Cherubin was distinguished by the spirit of obedience, purity of life, and devotion to the passion of Christ. To this day Blessed Cherubin is still very alive in Avigliana and the surrounding area. His mortal remains are displayed for the veneration of the faithful in the parish of Saints John and Peter in Avigliana (Torino), Italy.

Blessed Cherubin’s feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 16 December.

Rotelle, John, Book of Augustinian Saints, Augustinian Press 2000

Blessed Martin of Saint Nicholas and Melchior of Saint Augustine

smallblessed Martin and Blessed Melchior gave their lives to spread the gospel of Jesus.

Martin Lumberas was born in Zaragosa, Spain, in 1598 and Melchior Sanchez in Granada the following year. blessedsmartinandmelchior

Before he joined the Recollect Congregation of the Augustinian Order at the age of twenty, Martin suffered the death of his brothers — one killed while trying to establish peace between two enemies, the other an Augustinian — and that of his sisters, one a Carmelite who died with a reputation for sanctity. In 1622 he left for the missions in the Philippines.

Melchior, orphaned at an early age, received the Recollect habit of the Augustinian Order at the age of eighteen and set sail for the Philippine mission in 1621. Both friars arrived at the monastery of Saint Nicholas in Manila after their ordination in Mexico City. In the Philippines, among other duties, Martin was master of novices, and Melchior was engaged in the apostolate of preaching. In July 1632, in response to a request of two missionary confreres imprisoned in Japan, they asked to be sent to that country to care for persecuted Christians who had been forced into hiding. They arrived in September of that same year and began to minister in the hills surrounding Nagasaki, until some of the very men who had helped them reach Japan reported them to the officials. Having undergone various forms of torture, there were burned at the stake on 11 December 1632.

Martin and Mechior were beatified by Pope John Paul II on 26 March 1989. The Augustinian Family celebrates their feast on 11 December.

Rotelle, John, Book of Augustinian Saints, Augustinian Press 2000

Blessed Gratia of Kotor

smallblessed Gratia of Kotor distinguished himself by his humility, work, spirit of penitence, and love of the Eucharist.

The second half of the fourteenth century saw the emergence of a great spirit of reform in the Augustinian Order as well as in manyblessedgratiaofkotor other religious congregations. Friars committed to an enthusiastic observance of religious life in perfect fidelity to the Rule and Constitutions shunning every abuse and opportunity for compromise. They were authorized to live in specially designated “observant” communities under the immediate authority of the prior general and his appointed vicar. Eleven distinct congregations of observant monasteries were formed during this period. Gratia entered one of these congregations, centered at Monte Orotne, near Padua, in 1468

Gratia was born in 1438 in the town of Mulla near Kotor (Cattaro) on the Dalmation coast in former Yugoslavia. Fifteen years earlier Kotor had submitted to Venetian rule and became a busy and prosperous seaport. Gratia was a sailor whose work brought him to Venice where, on a certain occasion, he was so deeply moved by the preaching of the Augustinian friar, Simon of Camerino, a distinguished speaker and leader of the Augustinian Observant Movement, that he decided to join the Augustinian Order as a lay brother. He was thirty years old. In his forty years of religious life Gratia distinguished himself by his virtues and love of the Eucharist.

After many years at Monte Ortone, where he devoted his time an energy to the service of his brethren, principally in the monastery garden, he was transferred to the monastery of San Cristoforo near Venice, where he died on 8 November 1508.

Four centuries later he is still venerated by his countrymen in Kotor, and especially in his hometown of Mulla, where his body has been kept in the parish church since 1810. In 1889 Pope Leo XIII beatified Gratia.

The Augustinian Family celebrates his memorial on 7 November.

Rotelle, John, Book of Augustinian Saints, Augustinian Press 2000

Blessed James of Cerqueto

James, who was born in Cerqueto around 1284, became an Augustinian in the monastery of Perugia, Italy. Tradition tells us that he was a religious of “regular observance, strict abstinence, diligent prayer, and spotless virginity.”

He died in Perugia on 17 April 1367 in his eighties while praying before the altar of the Virgin. His body was transferred from the church of St. Augustine in Perugia to his native town , Cerqueto, in 1956.

His memory is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 31 October.

Rotelle, John, Book of Augustinian Saints, Augustinian Press 2000

Blessed Peter of Gubbio

peterofgubbioPeter, of the noble Ghigenzi family was born in the first half of the thirteenth century. He studied law first in Italy and then in Paris. At the age of forty he joined the Augustinians of his hometown who had come to Gubbio from the hermitage of Brettino (Fano). As a friar he won the respect of his confreres and was entrusted with various duties of responsibility. He was sent by the prior general to visit the monasteries of France where he left a deep impression for his zeal and holiness of life. He is described by the Anonymous Florentine, a writer of the fifteenth century, as “a man of great patience and prayer, who ended his life in the peace of the Lord and is renowned for many miracles.”

He died sometime between 1306 and 1322 and was venerated from the time of his death. His remains are preserved in the Church of St. Augustine in Gubbio.

Blessed Peter’s feast in celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 29 October.

Rotelle, John, Book of Augustinian Saints, Augustinian Press 2000
Peter of Gubbio, Church of Saint Augustine, Rome, Italy