St. Sylvester Gozzolini

Sylvester was born of a noble family in Osimo, Italy, in the year 1177. He studied law at Bologna and Padua but then switched to the study of theology and Scripture. He was ordained and became a canon at Osimo until he berated his bishop for his neglect in certain discharges of his office. Sylvester resigned his canonry in 1227, when he was fifty, and became a hermit near Osimo and then at Grotta Fucile. Directed by a vision of St. Benedict, he organized the disciples he had attracted into a monastery at Monte Fano near Fabriano in 1231, and founded the Silvestrine Benedictines, know as the Blue Benedictines from the color of their habit. This congregation was approved by Pope Innocent IV in 1247, and Sylvester ruled it for thirty-six years until his death. By that time, there were eleven monasteries under his rule. He was canonized in 1598 by Pope Clement VIII.

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Lessons from St. Sylvester of Gozzolini on Page 2

Lessons from St. Sylvester of Gozzolini

By the end of Sylvester’s life, he had founded twenty-five monasteries in Italy. He was ninety years old when he died. Sylvester was known for his zeal for truth and reproving vice. He would not remain silent in the face of evil or error. cripture tells us that if we see someone sinning and we do not try to turn that person away from his sin, then we will be held responsible for his sin (Ez 33). Sylvester is a great example to us to remember this scripture and to realize that to leave someone in his sin is not love. To love our brethren is to turn them away from sin and to eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Prayer We pray, Lord Jesus, that we might have the grace and boldness required to speak up when we see injustice or evil-doing. Help us, dear Lord, to seek to please You rather than being concerned about the feelings of others or about our popularity. Remind us that we are not helping others by our silence, but temper our words, Lord, with love and compassion, helping us to remember that we, too, are sinners. Amen.