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John of Matera, St.


Also known as John of Pulsano, Benedictine, founder and abbot; b. Matera, Kingdom of Naples, 1070; d. Pulsano, June 20, 1139. Following what he considered divine commands, John spent much of his life journeying from one religious house to another seeking an environment conducive to his severe mortifications. Having lived some years as a hermit, he founded a small monastery at Ginosa (not far from Matera), which was dispersed by the normans. He then joined william of vercelli, but he left that community when fire destroyed its buildings. When preaching in Bari, he narrowly escaped being burned as a heretic. Finally he settled at Pulsano near Monte Gargano in Apulia (c. 1130), where he attracted a small group of followers (the now extinct Benedictine Congregation of Pulsano), whom he governed, until his death, according to a strict interpretation of the benedic tine rule.

Feast: June 20.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum June 5:3350. g. j. giordano, Croniche de Monte Vergine (Naples 1649) 520527. a. f. pecci, Vita S. Iohannis a Mathera abbatis, Pulsanensis Congregationis fundatoris (Putineani 1938); rev. b. de gaiffer, Analecta Bollandiana 57 (1939) 174176.

[e. j. kealey]

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