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Strambi, Vincenzo Maria, St.


Bishop, preacher; b. Civitavecchia, Italy, Jan. 1, 1745; d. Rome, Jan. 1, 1824. At the seminary in Bagnoregio, he became rector while still a deacon, and was ordained in 1767. He entered the passionists (1768), and became one of Italy's leading pulpit orators, renowned as a preacher of missions, and also a professor of sacred eloquence. Named bishop of Macerata and Tolentino (1801), he retained unaltered his life of prayer, poverty, and penance. He devoted himself particularly to the sick, aged, and orphaned, and promoted the spiritual rejuvenation of his diocese by capable administration, good example, and concern for the progress of his clergy in learning and sanctity. He personally supervisaed his seminary, screened candidates, conducted examinations, and gave retreats. His organization of clergy and laity to act as instructors made him a precursor of the modern catechetical movement. Rather than take the oath of fealty demanded by napoleon i but disapproved by pius vii, he suffered exile and imprisonment in Novara and Milan (180814). In 1823 leo xii allowed him to resign his see, but brought him to Rome as his adviser. During a critical illness of the pope, Strambi offered to God his own life in exchange for the pontiff's return to health. Leo XII recovered, but Strambi died shortly after. He was beatified April 26, 1925, and canonized June 11, 1950.

Feast: Sept. 25.

Bibliography: s. dell'addolorata, S. Vincenzo Maria Strambi (Rome 1949). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4v. (New York 1956) 3:644645.

[c. j. yuhaus]

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