The saint for February 19
Saint Conrad of Piacenza
Optional Memorial
Franciscan, Roman

Born in 1290
died 1351

Conrad was a pleasant and God-fearing young married nobleman who loved to hunt.   On one hunt occasion he ordered his servants to set a fire to a brushy field so that the game would be driven out for him to kill.   Unfortunately, the fire got out of hand and spread to neighboring cropfields and even resulted in the damage of several homes.

Conrad and his henchmen returned home, saying nothing.   A poor man who had been nearby collecting wood was unjustly accused of setting the fire and condemned to death. Conrad's conscience was stricken, and he came forward to save the man's life.   This was a life-changing incident for Conrad.   Financially it was devastating, as the fines and restitution he had to pay all but bankrupted his family.   Spiritually, however, it was a source of great riches, as Conrad heard God calling him to a life focused on Him rather than on earthly pleasures.

Conrad and his wife gave all of their remaining earthly goods to the poor, and entered religious life; Conrad becoming a hermit under the rule of St. Francis and his wife entering a nearby Poor Clare monastery.   Conrad lived very simply and austerely.   His holiness attracted many men and women who came to him for spiritual guidance and healing.   God caused much spiritual good and even many miracle to be worked through him.

He died in the company of his confessor, while praying on his knees, in the church at Noto, Syracuse.   His relics are interred there still
Patron: Cure of Hernias
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