St. Sylvester Gozzolini, Abbot of Osimo
[Institutor of the Sylvestrin Monks.] THIS saint was born of a noble family at Osimo or Osmo, about fourteen miles from Loretto in 1177. He studied the laws and theology at Bologna and Padua, and being instituted to a canonry at Osimo made prayer, pious reading, and the instruction of others his whole employment. His zeal in reproving vice raised him enemies, and his bishop, whom he admonished of certain neglects to the discharge of his office, declared himself his persecutor. These trials served to purify the heart of the servant of God, and prepared him for the grace of the pure love of God. The sight of the carcass of a man who had been admired in his life-time for his beauty and great accomplishments, completed his abhorrence and contempt of this treacherous world, so that, deploring its scandals and blindness, he left the city privately, and retired into a desert thirty miles from Osimo, being then forty years old. To satisfy the importunity of others, in 1231, he built a monastery upon Monte Fano, two miles from Fabriano, in the marquisate of Ancona. In this house he settled the rule of St. Bennet without any mitigation: and, in 1248, obtained of Innocent IV., who was then at Lyons, the confirmation of his institute. He lived to found twenty-five monasteries in Italy, and leaving his disciples heirs of his double spirit of penance and prayer, departed to the Lord on the 26th of November in 1267, being ninety years old. God was pleased to work several miracles at his tomb, and his name is inserted in the Roman Martyrology. See his life by Fabrini, fourth general of his Order, in Breve Chron. della Congreg. de Monachi Sylvestrini; and Helyot, Hist. des Ordres Relig. t. 6, p. 170.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XI: November.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866.