Lives of the Saints
Our Models and Protectors

Spiritual Bouquet:

"Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me that I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls."

St. Matthew 11:29

May 21

Saint Hospitius
Saint Hospitius

Saint Hospitius
(† 581)

Saint Hospitius shut himself up in the ruins of an old tower near Villafranca, one league from Nice in Provence. He girded himself with a heavy iron chain and lived only on bread and dates. During Lent he redoubled his austerities, and, in order to conform his life more closely to that of the anchorites of Egypt, ate nothing but root vegetables.

For his great virtues Heaven honored him with the gifts of prophecy and of miracles. He foretold the ravages which the Lombards would make in 575 in Gaul, and advised the religious of a nearby monastery to flee at once. They said they could not resign themselves to abandon him, but he replied that although the invaders would insult him, they would not kill him. The barbarians he had foretold came to the tower in which Hospitius lived, and seeing the chain with which he was bound, mistook him for a criminal who was imprisoned there. When they questioned him, he acknowledged that he was indeed a great sinner and unworthy to live, whereupon one of the soldiers lifted his sword to strike him. God, however, did not desert His faithful servant; the soldier's arm stiffened and became numb. It was not until Hospitius made the sign of the cross over it that he recovered the use of it. This soldier embraced Christianity, renounced the world and spent the rest of his days in serving God.

When Saint Hospitius felt that his last hour was nearing, he asked the monks of the nearby monastery to send word to the bishop Austadius that he was going to die, so that he might see to his burial. He took off his chain and knelt in prayer for a long time. Then, stretching himself on a little bank of earth, he calmly gave up his soul to God on the 21st of May, 581.

Reflection. If we do not love penance for its own sake, let us love it on account of our sins; for we must work out our salvation in fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12)

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Alphabetical list of Saints