St. Walfrid of Gherardesca
Canonization date: 1861 by Pope Blessed Pius IX (cultus confirmed).
Born on 8th century Pisa, Italy. Eldest of five children in a wealthy family. Properous married layman, a solid citizen, and father of five sons and a daughter. With their children grown, he and his wife, Thesia, each felt called to religious life. Walfrid and two married friends, Fortis and Gunduald, founded the Benedictine monastery of Palazzuolo, and a nearby convent for their wives and Walfrid’s daughter.
Walfrid served as abbot of the house, and the monastery was soon home to 60 monks.
Walfrid’s son later entered the monastery, became a priest, had a terrible lapse of behavior and faith, reconciled with the monastery and the Church, and served as the second abbot. Gundual’s son enterd the monastery, served as third abbot, and wrote a biography of Walfrid.
He died on February 15, 765 at Palazuollo, Italy of natural causes and he is buried nearby with his wife, Thesia.