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Bl. Ugolino of Gualdo

January 3rd

Blessed Ugolino attracted people of his day by his austerity of life and steadfastness of spirit. He was born toward the beginning of the thirteenth century in Gualdo Cattaneo (Perugia), Italy, not far from Foligno. Drawn deeply to the eremitical life, he joined the Augustinian Order and, making great progress in the spiritual life, was given permission to live as a hermit.

He practiced a rigorous spiritual life, marked by frequent fasts, lengthy prayer, and strict silence. One of the hermitages he dwelled in for a long time was that of the “Hermitage of Saint John” near Bevagna. In 1258 the townspeople of Gualdo desired to have in their midst this model of holiness. Now at Gualdo there was a little Benedictine monastery and church that the Benedictines owned but had left abandoned for some time. So inspired by Blessed Ugolino’s Christian life, the people of Gualdo approached the Benedictine monks of Saint Pancratius in Rome and asked them to give to the Gualdo Monastery to the Augustinian Monks. Blessed Ugolino conceded to the request of the people and took possession of this former Benedictine monastery in Gualdo. There he eminently introduced the Augustinian way of life there, becoming the first prior of the Monastery of Gualdo. His stay there was brief, however, for he died on 1 January 1260, and was buried in the monastery church, renamed the church of Saint Augustine.

Immediately after his death the people of Gualdo began to frequent his tomb and invoke his intercession. In 1262 his remains were transferred to the mother church of Saints Anthony and Antoninus for protection from devotees of Bevagna who wished to claim them as their own. The Augustinian Family celebrates his feast on 3rd of January.

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