Bl. Benignus & Bl. Carus of Verona

July 21st

Blessed Benignus and Blessed Carus were stone carvers from the city of Verona. In the first year of the confirmation of the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine, these two men were drawn with eagerness to the more disciplined rigors of the hermetical life, and withdrew to Malsesenium near the Lake “Benacus”, to dwell in the cliffs, cut off to hallow themselves in solitude according to the Rule of St. Augustine. Raising themselves above the lower ways of the enemy, they victoriously embraced a life of prayer and fasting. In such a way they kept their minds pure and intent upon God. And using their talents, they fashioned at their cave, a beautiful image of the Holy Mother of God, drawing attention, not to themselves but to the beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And all who saw it were blessed with Heavenly blessings, and held the statue in great opinion.

And as many admired this pure image, rumor spread of the talent of these two hermits. Now at that time, King Pipus built a shrine for the bones of St. Zeno, patron of the city. Rothaldus, the Augustinian Bishop of the city, sent for Carus and Benignus to fashion the sarcophagus in which to place the sacred relics.

And though they preferred the greater glory of the hidden life, they agreed to perform this task on the provision that they could immediately upon its completion, return to their former hidden life as hermits, where they lived their lives in sanctity and total dedication to God. This feast marks the date of the dedication of that shrine. Pope Gregory XVI granted to the Augustinian Order, a proper Mass and Office for Bl. Benignus and Bl. Carus, whose lives were lived in penitential joy.

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