Blessed Roger of Todi

Blessed Roger of Todi
(Blessed Roger de Toddi)

Feast Day – January 8

Blessed Roger Todi was born at Todi in the Italian province of Umbria, and in 1216 was received into the Order by Saint Francis himself. Like a good disciple, he directed all his energies toward faithfully imitating the virtues of his holy father and master; likewise he adopted as his models the other saints that have so enriched his native country. Because of his earnest efforts at perfection, the Seraphic Founder greatly esteemed him, and often chose him as his companion when he set out to preach or to direct souls.

After Saint Francis had led Blessed Philippa Mareri to greater perfection, and the latter with several young women had repaired to a convent of Poor Clares, the holy Father appointed his disciple Blessed Roger of Todi to be her future director in the spiritual life. He guided the new congregation with great fidelity and led it to high sanctity. He also assisted Blessed Philippa in her dying moments. At her tomb he delivered a brilliant panegyric, in the course of which he declared that she could be invoked as one of the blessed in heaven. Not many years later this judgment was confirmed by the verdict of the Church.

Within a year after the death of Blessed Philippa, Roger also died, on January 5, 1237. Pope Gregory IX, who knew him personally, and who had called him a saint even during his lifetime, at once sanctioned the celebration of his feast at Todi; Benedict XIV extended his veneration to the entire Franciscan Order.

*from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm

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