Guarinus of Palestrina

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Saint Guarinus of Palestrina
Bishop of Palestrina
Born Bologna, Italy
Died 6 February 1158
Palestrina, Italy
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Canonized 12th-century by Pope Alexander III
Feast 6 February

Guarinus (Guarino Foscari or Fuscari) (born Bologna, died February 6, 1158) was an Italian Augustinian canon regular and Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina from December 1144.[1] He is a Catholic saint, whose feast day is February 6.

Life[edit]

Guarinus was born in Bologna in 1080, a member of the noble Guarini family. His mother was a Foscari. Well educated, Guarinus was fond of literature. Despite opposition from his family he was ordained at the age of twenty-four. He was then named Canon of the Cathedral of Bologna.[2] He was already a priest when around 1104 he joined the Santa Croce (Holy Cross) Congregation of Augustinian canons at Mortara. Before leaving, he donated his goods for the building of a hospital.

At the age of fifty-nine, he was elected to fill a vacancy created by the death of the bishop of Pavia,[3] but evaded consecration by climbing out a window. He went into hiding until another election was held.

During Advent of 1144, Pope Lucius II, a Bolognese kinsman, sent for him, and he again attempted to avoid higher office. Lucius had Palestrina arrested, but he escaped for a time. Eventually, the Pope had him consecrated Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina. He also bestowed on him a number of gifts suitable to a person of his new standing, including some fine horses, which Palestrina sold, distributing the funds to the poor.[4]

Feeling unworthy of the position, he walked away twice. The first time, he was recalled from Subiaco by Pope Eugenius III. The second time he went to Ostia, but finding Saracens there, he fled to Rome. He was bishop for thirteen years and stayed out of the troublesome Roman politics. As a cardinal he participated in three conclaves.[2] He died at the age of seventy-eight on February 6, 1158, loved for his humility and great generosity to the poor. He was canonized by Pope Alexander III the following year.[3]

Guarinus was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Sant'Agapito. In 1473 Palestrina was looted and his remains were hidden for fear of desecration. Although a search was made in 1754, they were not located.[2]

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