St. Sylvester Gozzolini
Born to the Italian nobility. Began the study of civil law in Bologna and Padua in Italy in 1197. Renouncing civil law, he studied theology and was ordained in 1217 in the diocese of Osimo, Italy; his father was so upset with the change that he refused to speak to his son for ten years. Canon in Osimo, Italy; his ministry was so successful that his local bishop became jealous. Hermit at age 50, living on herbs and water, sleeping on the ground, and spending his time in study and prayer; his reputation for learning and holiness attracted many students. He received a vision of Saint Benedict of Nursia in 1231 and understood that he should form his spiritual students into a formal community. Founded a Benedictine community at Monte Fano, Fabriano, Italy, a house devoted to strict adherence to the Benedictine Rule, and built on the site of an old pagan temple that Sylvester destroyed. The Order, known as a the Sylvestrines or Blue Benedictines, was approved by Pope Innocent IV in 1247, Sylvester led them until his death decades later, Sylvester founded eleven houses of them in his time, and they continue their work today.