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Saint of the day, 12 September: Saint Guido of Brabant

Saint Guido was born in Anderlecht, in the region of Brabant: the poverty of his family will characterise his customs and habits throughout his life

Saint Guido of Brabant, the forerunner of Saint Francis of Assisi

By many of the faithful, St Guido is considered the forerunner of St Francis. His was not a critical pauperism for its own sake, but a choice of poverty among the poor.

An adherence so faithful to Mt 6:19-34, that he was nicknamed ‘the poor man of Anderlecht’.

He set off with a simple saddlebag for a pilgrimage that would last seven years, filling it with earth so as not to show his alms, and the Lord would fill it with bread.

In this way he visits the greatest sanctuaries of Christianity: he even arrives in the Holy Land, as the Poverello of Assisi would do two centuries later. On his return, passing through Rome, he meets the Dean of Anderlecht who, on the point of death, instructs him to announce the news. So Guido returns home, but arrives tired and ill and, after a short time, returns to the House of the Father. Today his remains rest in the city’s Collegiate Church.

In 1112 his canonisation, a century after his return to the Father’s house.

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