Saint of the Day for 12 October: St Serafino of Montegranaro
Saint Serafino of Montegranaro: the saint of rescue
12 October 1604, Ascoli Piceno
1729, Rome, Pope Benedict XIII
16 July 1767, Rome, Pope Clement XIII
O God, who through prayer and the glorious lives of your Saints, and in particular of St Seraphim of Montegranaro, called our fathers to the admirable light of the Gospel, grant that we too may live in the commitment to a new evangelisation of this third Christian millennium and, overcoming the snares of the evil one, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint Patron of
In Ascoli, Saint Serafino da Montegranaro (Felice) de Nicola, a religious of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor, who, as a true poor man, excelled in humility and piety.
The Saint and Mission
St Seraphim of Montegranaro, known for his profound dedication and consecrated life to listening to and supporting the needy, offers us a model of Christian mission wrapped in the simplicity and depth of everyday action. His path was not marked by missionary endeavours in distant lands or by grand gestures of evangelisation, but rather by a mission carried out in daily life, among ordinary people, through humble and discreet service that reflected the love of Christ.
The mission of St Seraphim, along with his companions, teaches us that evangelisation does not always require heroic gestures or journeys to unknown lands. Mission can also spring and flourish in the soil of everyday life, in the small town of Montegranaro, where St Seraphim spread the Gospel through his presence, his listening, and his ability to see and honour Christ in others.
The mission, therefore, becomes a tangible incarnation of the Gospel message in everyday realities. Here, then, the simple and sometimes hidden gestures of Seraphim and his companions – patient listening, loving presence, constant prayer and merciful welcome – translate into silent but effective preaching. Their existence becomes a living sermon, proclaiming God’s goodness and closeness not so much through words as through concrete acts of charity and compassion.
This ‘hidden’ mission has extraordinary power: it is capable of touching hearts and changing lives in profound ways. For Seraphim and his companions, every encounter was a chance to bring Christ to others, and every act of charity was a way of showing the loving face of God. Thus, their mission was carried out above all through the universal language of love, which does not require great doctrines or complex theologies to be understood and accepted.
The testimony of St Seraphim and his companions speaks to us of a mission incarnated in everyday life, a mission that can be as radical and transformative as those that cross seas and continents. Their story becomes an invitation to recognise that we too are called to be missionaries, starting from the very context in which we live, with the people we meet every day, in the challenges and joys of everyday life.
St Seraphim of Montegranaro reminds us that being missionaries is not a vocation reserved for a chosen few, but a calling that resonates for each one of us, a call to live the Gospel wherever we are, with the awareness that every gesture of love and every act of kindness reflects the light of the risen Christ and contributes to weaving that network of fraternity and solidarity that is the beating heart of the Christian mission in the world.
The Saint and Mercy
St Seraphim of Montegranaro, a man whose life was imbued with singular humility and characterised by boundless love of neighbour, gives us a glimpse of what it means to embody mercy in every fibre of one’s being. His existence, permeated by a palpable spirit of sacrifice and devotion, emphasises the importance of seeing and serving Christ in one’s neighbour, especially in those who are on the margins of society or going through periods of suffering.
St Seraphim’s life unfolds like a story where mercy is not just a theological concept, but is translated into daily action, made up of simple and authentic gestures. On his daily wanderings, Seraphim immersed himself in the realities of the people he met, listening, comforting and assisting anyone in need, thus becoming a visible sign of divine mercy.
Mercy, in fact, did not remain confined within the walls of churches or liturgical celebrations, but became tangible in the streets, in homes and wherever there was need. St Seraphim saw in every individual an image of God, a brother or sister to be loved without reserve, and his love knew no barriers of social status, age or condition. It was a love that went beyond, capable of touching and transforming the hearts of those who crossed his path.
And then there are St Seraphim’s ‘companions’, figures who, through history, have gathered and perpetuated the seed of mercy that the saintly Minorite friar sowed with his life. These individuals, often in the shadows, have continued the work of mercy in different but no less significant ways, visiting the sick, comforting the afflicted, and becoming a voice for the voiceless.
Together, St Seraphim and his companions become a mosaic of mercy, uniting small and large gestures into a single weave that reminds us how essential mercy is in the fabric of the Christian and human community. Their witness is a challenge for every age and context, as they speak a universal language, the language of love and welcome, which overcomes all barriers and divisions.
In a world often marked by individualism and indifference, the figure of St Seraphim of Montegranaro and his companions stands as a powerful and gentle reminder at the same time, inviting us to rediscover the revolutionary power of mercy, capable of transforming every reality and building bridges where there seem to be only walls.
Their example challenges us and invites us to ask ourselves: how can I be an instrument of mercy in my daily life? How can I mirror in my actions the same infinite charity that Saint Seraphim experienced throughout his life? The answer lies, perhaps, in the simple but profound invitation to allow ourselves to be permeated by God’s mercy, and then to become ourselves a tangible expression of that same mercy in the world around us.
The son of farmers, Serafino was born in Montegranaro in the Marche region in 1540. He had no opportunity to study as he had to graze a farmer’s flock for a living. When his father died, he and his older brother went to work in a construction site in Loro Piceno. Serafino, attracted by the desire to learn, became friends with the impresario’s daughter, having heard her read aloud.
It was the girl who approached him at the local Capuchin Franciscan convent, where the young man then asked to be received. After his novitiate in Jesi, he was sent to Ascoli Piceno, where he spent most of his life adapting himself to the humblest jobs in the house and…