Blessed Oddino Barrotti

Blessed Oddino Barrotti
(Beato Oddino Barrotti)

Feast Day – July 7

Complete dedication to the works of charity and mercy is the keynote of the entire priestly life of the fourteenth-century Tertiary, Blessed Oddino Barrotti. Born in 1324 at Fossano in Piedmont, Oddino returned to his native city after his ordination to the priesthood, and for a time served as pastor of the Church of St John the Baptist.

From the beginning he devoted himself completely to the care of his flock, hardly taking any rest, fasting rigorously at the same time, and giving to the poor almost every penny that he received. The bishop of Turin, to which diocese Father Barrotti belonged, found it necessary to warn him against overdoing it.

“Keep at least enough of your income,” the bishop counseled him, “so you can have a decent living.”

A few years later the young priest was chosen provost of the collegiate church in Fossano; but, in his humility, he resigned this office to become the chaplain of a pious confraternity. It was at this time that he became a member of the Third Order of St Francis. He then converted his own house into a shelter for the homeless; and he was made director of the Guild of the Cross, an association whose members cared for the sick and for pilgrims. In this capacity he succeeded in having a hospital built at Fossano for the sick, as well as a hospice for pilgrims. Father Barrotti himself made many pilgrimages, especially to the churches of Rome and the shrine of Our lady of Loreto.

Four years before his death, he yielded to the urgent request of the canons and once more accepted the post of provost or director of the collegiate chapter in Fossano, and with it the duties of a pastor. And when the city was visited by a plague in 1400, the holy pastor cared for the sick with such indefatigable zeal that he too was stricken by the disease and died a martyr of charity at the age of seventy-six.

Though he was honored as a saint after his death, it was not until 1808, for centuries later, that he was declared Blessed.

From: The Franciscan Book of Saints, Marion A. Habig, OFM

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