Saint Benedict Joseph Labre is a French saint who lived in the 18th century. He is the patron saint of the homeless and beggars.
Benedict Joseph Labre was born on March 26th, 1748 in Amettes, France. He was born to a wealthy family and was the eldest of four children. His parents were devout Catholics and instilled the same values in their children. Benedict was an intelligent and pious child and was sent to the best schools of his time. He excelled in his studies and was known for his dedication to prayer and meditation. From a young age, he had a deep desire to live a life of poverty and devotion to God. He left home at the age of 21 to embark on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he lived as a beggar and a hermit.
Throughout his life, Benedict Joseph Labre lived in poverty and begged for food and shelter. He spent much of his time in prayer and meditation, and was known for his devotion to the Virgin Mary. He also had a deep love for the Eucharist and would often spend hours in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.
Despite his humble lifestyle, Benedict Joseph Labre was revered by many for his holiness and devotion. Many miracles were attributed to him during his lifetime, and after his death, his tomb became a place of pilgrimage and continues to be visited by thousands of people each year.
Saint Benedict Joseph Labre died on April 16th, 1783 in Rome. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1881 and his feast day is celebrated on April 16th.
Interesting facts about Saint Benedict Joseph Labre:
- He is one of the few saints who was canonized based on popular devotion, rather than the traditional process of investigation and documentation of miracles.
- His remains were moved to the Saint-Médard Church in Amettes, France in 1959, but his heart was kept in Rome and can be venerated at the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina.
- He was declared the patron saint of beggars and the homeless by Pope Pius XI in 1927.
- His writings are not preserved, but his devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary is known through many accounts.
Saint Benedict Joseph Labre's life and devotion continues to inspire many people today. His selfless and humble spirit, along with his devotion to prayer and the Eucharist, serves as a powerful example of the Christian life.