Book of Saints – John Gualbert

detail from the painting 'San Giovanni Gualberto and Saints'; date unknown, artist unknown; Santa Trinita, Florence, Italy; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

(Saint) Abbot (July 12) (11th century) A Florentine nobleman who spent his youth in idle dissipation, but was brought by a Providential inspiration to turn to the pursuit of worthier objects. Hugo, his brother, had been murdered, and John, as was the custom of the nobles of his century, deemed it his duty to avenge his death. However, he only met the murderer on a Good Friday, after he had listened to a sermon in which the example of Christ on the Cross, pardoning His enemies was dwelt upon. Moved by the thoughts thus suggested, the young noble overcame himself and freely pardoned, so far as he was concerned, the wrongdoer. Then, entering a church and kneeling before a Crucifix, he sought pardon for his own sins. Raising his eyes he saw the Crucified Saviour miraculously bow His Head as if according the pardon he asked for. He thereupon applied to be received as a monk in the neighbouring monastery; but soon in the desire for greater solitude betook himself to the forest country of Vallis Umbrosa (Vallombrosa), where he founded a house of strict Benedictine Observance. The new Institute was approved by the then Pope in A.D. 1070, and governed by Saint John until his death, three years later, when he found himself already at the head of twelve monasteries. He was canonised by Pope Celestine III.

MLA Citation

  • Monks of Ramsgate. “John Gualbert”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 August 2018. Web. 17 January 2019. <>