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Silvester Guzzolini, St.


Abbot, founder of the Sylvestrine Benedictines; b. Osimo, Italy, 1177; d. Montefano, Nov. 26, 1267. Silvester, born of the noble Guzzolini (or Gossolini) family, studied law at Bologna and Padua and then was ordained. In 1227 he renounced his benefice and became a hermit. Many disciples joined him, and in 1231 he built a monastery at Montefano, near Fabriano, Italy, founding the socalled Blue or Sylvestrine benedictines, who were approved by Innocent IV in 1247. At the death of the founder when be was about 80 years old, the new congregation had at least 11 monasteries. Later there were as many as 56 in Italy, Portugal, and Brazil. The Sylvestrine Congregation still exists in Italy (152 monks) and in Ceylon (43 monks), where they have charge of the missionary Diocese of Kandy (Ann Pont 1963). Silvester was canonized by Clement VIII in 1598.

Feast: Nov. 26.

Bibliography: His life, written between 1275 and 1280 by his successor Abbot andrew de giacomo, was printed 1772 in Jesi, Italy, in Vita di S. Silvestro Abate by c. s. franceschini. a. m. zim mermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige, 4 v. (Metten 193338) 3:358360. a. m. cancellieri, S. S. Abate (Matelica, Italy 1942). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4v. (New York 1956) 4:422423.

[m. a. habig]

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