The Saints: St. Benedict Joseph Labre
1748 - 1783/ Feast - April 16
Born in France the eldest of 15 children of a prosperous shopkeeper, Benedict tried unsuccessfully to join a religious order.
He was rejected as too young, too delicate and too eccentric.
After a pilgrimage on foot to Rome around 1770, he spent several years wandering among Western Europe’s Catholic shrines, begging as he went.
From 1774 on, he stayed in Rome, spending his days praying in churches and his nights in the ruins of the Colosseum.
The Roman people esteemed this mendicant pilgrim, whose health finally failed, as a “new St. Francis.”