May 19: Blessed Augustine Novello

Blessed Augustine Novello (d. 1309) was given the name Matthew at birth and grew up in Termini, Italy. He became a brilliant lawyer in the city of Bologna, so brilliant that be became chancellor to the king. During a great battle, the king was killed, and Matthew was wounded and left for dead. He vowed that if he recovered, he would give his life to God.

So he did. As soon as he was well enough, he entered the brand new order of Hermits of Saint Augustine. But he did so as a mere laybrother and told no one of his past life and education. In time, the community found itself ensnared in a complicated lawsuit. Brother Augustine (the name Matthew took when he entered religious life) offered to help. He summarized the community’s response so expertly that the opposition’s lawyer recognized it almost immediately as the work of the famous and presumed dead Matthew of Termini.

The order quickly took advantage of Augustine’s abilities and put him to work creating the constitutions required by Rome for the establishment of a new order. Augustine served as prior general for a time before retiring to live as a hermit. He died on this date.

Blessed Augustine, help me to take the lowest place.

Posted in Saint of the day and tagged , .