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St. Ubaldus



Confessor, Bishop of Gubbio, born of noble parents at Gubbio, Umbria, Italy, towards the beginning of the twelfth centry; died there, Whitsuntide, 1168. Whilst still very young, having lost his father, he was educated by the prior of the cathedral church of his native city, where he also became a canon regular. Wishing to serve God with more regularity he passed to the Monastery of St. Secondo in the same city, where he remained for some years. Recalled by his bishop, he returned to the cathedral monestary, where he was made prior. Having heard that Vienna Blessed Peter de Honestis some years before had established a very fervent community of canons regular, to whom he had given special statutes which had been approved by Paschall II, Ubaldus went there, remaining with his brother canons for three months, to learn the details and the practice of their rules, wishing to introduce them among his own canons of Gubbio. This he did at his return. Serving God in great regularity, poverty (for all his rich patrimony he had given to the poor and to the restoration of monasteries), humility, mortification, meekness, and fervour, the fame of his holiness spread in the country, and several bishoprics were offered to him, but he refused them all. However, the episcopal See of Gubbio becoming vacant, he was sent, with some clerics, by the population to ask for a new bishop from Honorius II who, having consecrated him, sent him back to Gubbio. To his people he became a perfect pattern of all Christian virtues, and a powerful protector in all their spiritual and temporal needs. He died full of merits, after a long and painful illness of two years. Numerous miracles were wrought by him in life and after death. At the solicitation of Bishop Bentivoglio Pope Celestine III canonized him in 1192. His power, as we read in the Office for his feast, is chiefly manifested over the evil spirits, and the faithful are instructed to have recourse to him "contra omnes diabolicas nequitias".

The life of the saint was written by Blessed Theobaldus, his immediate successor in the episcopal see, and from this source is derived all the information given by his numerous biographers. The body of the holy man, which had at first been buried in the cathedral church by the Bishops of Perugia and Cagli, at the time of his canonization was found flexible and incorrupt, and was then placed in a small oratory on the top of the hill overlooking the city, where in 1508, at the wish of the Duke of Urbino, the canons regular built a beautiful church, frequented to this day by numerous pilgrims, who come to visit the relics of their heavenly protector from near and far. The devotion to the saint is very popular throughout Umbria, but especially at Gubbio, where in every family at least one member is called Ubaldus. The feast of their patron saint is celebrated by the inhabitants of the country round with great solemnity, there being religious and civil processions which call to mind the famous festivities of the Middle Ages in Italy.

A. Allaria.








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