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Saludecio, Rimini, Papal States
|Died||8 May 1292 (aged 67)|
Saludecio, Rimini, Papal States
|Resting place||San Biagio, Italy|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||17 April 1776, Rome, Papal States by Pope Pius VI|
|Canonized||23 November 2014, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Francis|
Saint Amato Ronconi (1225 – 8 May 1292) was an Italian Roman Catholic who became a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order due to his desire to follow in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. Ronconi lived a life of penitence and dedicated all his works to the poor through the construction of chapels and hospitals – one such hospital still exists in his home of Rimini. His good deeds never went unnoticed for the townspeople hailed Ronconi as a saint in their midst even in the face of a slanderous accusation a jealous sister-in-law spread.
The confirmation of his popular local "cultus" – or enduring veneration – allowed for Pope Pius VI to celebrate his beatification on 17 April 1776 while Pope Francis canonized Ronconi centuries later on 23 November 2014 in Saint Peter's Square.
Amato Ronconi was born in 1225 in Rimini into a noble household that possessed great wealth but was orphaned during his childhood; it fell upon his older brother Giacomo to care for him. He spent his childhood and adolescence growing up in his brother's home. One sister was Chiara.
Ronconi's sister-in-law urged him to find a woman to wed but Ronconi had other ideas for his life and decided to serve the Lord as a hermit. His sister-in-law Lansberga came to dislike him as a result of this for she wanted him to wed her little sister so as to keep her estate intact among familial relations and not amongst outsiders. She first asked Giacomo to have Ronconi change his mind but to keep the peace her husband gave his brother a piece of their land and told him to do with it what he pleased; Ronconi dedicated it to the poor which further infuriated his sister-in-law. Lansberga wanted revenge and so began a slanderous rumor – knowing how close he was with his sister Chiara – that both brother and sister were engaging in incestuous relations which was proven false after an investigation.
Feeling a call to serve God he devoted his life to catering to the needs of the poor and assisting pilgrims and in doing so gave up all his possessions which he passed on to the poor people of the area. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and adopted a life of hermitage to follow the example of Saint Francis of Assisi. He later emerged from his hermitage and constructed various chapels and shelters for pilgrims; some of those places still exist at present including a hospital in Rimini. He also made four pilgrimages to Spain at Santiago de Compostela. He underwent such pilgrimages to grow in personal holiness and to visit the tomb of James the Apostle.
Ronconi attempted to make a fifth pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela but never made it for an angel appeared to him and told him he would soon die so had to return to his home; he did so and stopped at the Benedictine convent of San Giuliano in Rimini where he gave them the remainder of his possessions on 10 January 1292. Ronconi died in 1292. His remains are in the church of San Biagio in his home town of Saledecio after being transferred in May 1330 after his original resting place was razed due to fire.
Pope Pius VI beatified Ronconi on 17 April 1776 while waiving the requirement for two miracles attributed to his intercession. The cause reopened a long while later when the postulation sent the Positio dossier to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome in 2010 where the latter had historians discuss and approve the cause on 27 April 2010. Theologians approved the cause on 11 January 2013 as did the C.C.S. on 24 September 2013.
Pope Francis confirmed his life of heroic virtue on 9 October 2013 which would allow for his canonization to take place (should a miracle be approved) while also giving him the title of Venerable. The miracle in question was investigated and received C.C.S. validation on 25 March 1994; a medical board approved it later on 5 December 2013 as did theologians on 4 February 2014 and the C.C.S. on 15 April 2014. Francis approved the miracle needed for sainthood on 15 April 2014 and canonized Ronconi on 23 November 2014 in Saint Peter's Square.