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Conrad of Offida

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Blessed Conrad of Offida
Born 1241, Offida, Ancona
Died 12 December 1306, Umbria
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Beatified 1817 by Pius VII
Major shrine Cathedral of Perugia
Feast December 19 (Franciscan Calendar)

The Blessed Conrad of Offida was an Italian Friar Minor preacher and founder of the Celestines.

Biography

Conrad was born at Offida, a little town in the March of Ancona, c. 1241. When barely fourteen years old he entered the Order of Friars Minor at Ascoli, and was making rapid progress in the study of sacred sciences, when an internal voice called him to humbler offices of the religious life. He therefore abandoned his studies with the consent of his superiors, and for many years was employed as cook and questor.

His superiors subsequently had him ordained and sent him forth to preach. Conrad modelled his life after that of his seraphic father, St. Francis. He was especially zealous for the observance of poverty. During his long religious life he always wore the same habit and always walked without sandals.

The early legend declares that Conrad's guardian angel was the same that had formerly fulfilled this office for St. Francis, and that Blessed Giles came back to earth to teach him the mysteries of contemplation. When Brother Leo (Leo of Assisi), the companion and confessor of St. Francis, was dying, he sent for Conrad and made him the depositary of his writings. Conrad was allied with Angelo Clareno and intimately united with John of La Penna, John of Parma, Peter of John Olivi, Peter of Monticello and others of the "Spirituals".

In 1294 he obtained permission from pope Celestine V to separate from the main body of the order and found the Celestines by whom the rule of St. Francis was observed in all its purity. When this congregation was suppressed by Boniface VIII, Conrad immediately returned under the authority of the superiors of the order. The letter written in 1295 by Peter of John Olivi to Conrad in which the legitimacy of Boniface VIII's election is defended, has been edited by Ignatius Jeiler (Historisches Jahrbuch, III, 649).

During a course of missions he was giving at Bastia in Umbria, he died on 12 December, 1306 at the age of about sixty-five years and was buried in that place.

Veneration

Fifty-six years later his remains were carried off by the Perugians and buried at San Francesco, reposing beside those of Blessed Giles in the choir of the cathedral at Perugia.

Pope Pius VII in 1817 ratified the cult of Blessed Conrad.

His liturgical feast is kept in the Order of Friars Minor on 19 December.

Source

This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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