ST. STEPHEN, ABBOT
HE was abbot of a monastery near the walls of
Rieti in Italy, and a man of admirable sanctity. He had despised all
things for the love of heaven. He shunned all company to employ
himself wholly in prayer. So wonderful was his patience, that he
looked upon them as his greatest friends and benefactors, who did him
the greatest injuries, and regarded insults as his greatest gain. He
lived in extreme poverty, and a privation of all the conveniences of
life. His barns, with all the corn in them, the whole subsistence of
his family, were burned down by wicked men. He received the news with
cheerfulness, grieving only for their sin by which God was offended.
In his agony angels were seen surrounding him to conduct his happy
soul to bliss. He lived in the sixth age. He is named in the Roman
Martyrology. See St. Gregory, hom. 35, in Evang. t.1, p. 1616. and1.
4, Dial. c. 19.