Saint of the day » Blessed Torello

Blessed Torello

Fri 15th of Mar 2013

Torello was born in 1202, in Poppi, Italy. His life as a child in the village was ordinary and uneventful. But after his father's death, Torello started to change his whole way of life. He got involved with companions who drank. They hung around town all day instead of working. Torello liked his new friends and was trying hard to win their approval.

Then while he was playing an outdoor sport one day, a rooster flew down from its roost. It landed on Torello's arm and crowed three times, long and loud. Torello was speechless. He walked away and wouldn't finish the game. He couldn't help but think that what the rooster had done was no coincidence. He was being warned, just as St. Peter had once been warned. Torello's irresponsible way of living would lead him away from Jesus.

Torello decided then and there to change his life. He went to see the abbot of San Fedele who helped him make a good confession. Then Torello went out to a quiet, wooded area and selected a spot near a big tree. He spent eight days in prayer. At the end of that time he decided that he would be a hermit. He went back to Poppi and sold all his property. He kept only enough money to buy the small square plot of land around the big tree he had found in the woods. Next to that tree he built a shack where he spent the rest of his life. He grew his own vegetables for food and got water from the stream. He prayed and performed penances, the hardest of which was sleeping only three hours a night.

Torello felt that being a hermit was what God wanted of him. This is how he peacefully spent his life. While he was alive, very few people knew of his hermit's life. Only one friend was aware of Torello's hidden life in the forest. He died at the age of eighty after spending over fifty years as a hermit. Blessed Torello died in 1282.

Reflection: Although we may not all have extraordinary experiences, there are many ways we come to learn whether or not our actions and attitudes lead us closer to God-through important people or events in our lives, or through prayerful reflection.

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