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Saint Ignatius of Laconi
Saint Ignatius of Laconi’s Story
(December 17, 1701 – May 11, 1781)
Ignatius is another sainted begging brother.
He was the second of seven children of peasant parents in Sardinia. His path to the Franciscans was unusual. During a serious illness, Ignatius vowed to become a Capuchin if he recovered. He regained his health but ignored the promise. When he was 20, a riding accident prompted Ignatius to renew the pledge, which he acted on the second time. Ignatius’s reputation for self-denial and charity led to his appointment as the official beggar for the friars in Cagliari. He fulfilled that task for 40 years, despite being blind for the last two years.
While on his rounds, Ignatius would instruct the children, visit the sick, and urge sinners to repent. The people of Cagliari were inspired by his kindness and his faithfulness to his work. Ignatius was canonized in 1951.
Why did the people of Cagliari support the friars? These followers of Francis worked hard but rarely at jobs that paid enough to live on. Under these conditions St. Francis allowed them to beg. The life of Ignatius reminds us that everything God considers worthwhile does not have a high-paying salary attached to it.