Monday, October 25, 2010

Blessed John Licci (1400 to Nov. 14, 1511)

   On my way into the supermarket yesterday, after a hearty brunch and refreshing walk along an Aquidneck Island beach, I spoke with an acquaintance whose son had a brain injury seven years ago.
  Apparently, the kid was in a fight when he was 19-years-old and never fully recovered from the blow to his head.
  "It's something I have to deal with every day," said Pete, looking exhausted. "It's a daily battle. My son is disagreeable, confused, and he won't keep appointments. He'll be this way for the rest of his life."
  I don't know Pete that well, so I certainly couldn't offer my idea to him, lest he think I'm a religious whack job. But, I'm often asked how a blessed becomes a saint by people who know I write this blog.
  Blessed John Licci (also known as Blessed Giovanni Liccio), the patron against head injuries, needs one more miracle to reach sainthood. At this point, the number of miracles needed is two.
  Even though Pete's son already received a head injury, he could be cured by intercession through Blessed John Licci who was born in Caccamo, Palermo, Sicily, Italy in 1400.
  Blessed John Licci's mother died in childbirth and his father often had to leave him to work in the fields. The baby's diet consisted of mashed pomegranate. It was considered Italian peasant food along with polenta. Although, today, both are considered delicacies in a way, or are on menus in fancy restaurants. (I used to share pomegranates with my own grandfather when I was a  kid.)
   A legend is told that one day, the cries of  baby Blessed John Licci, who had been left unattended, were heard by a neighbor. The woman took him into her house and cared for him while his father working. She put the baby next to her paralyzed husband and his disease was cured.
  The woman told Blessed John Licci's father what had happened and at first he didn't believe her.  But, as soon as the baby went home, the husband returned to being paralyzed. When Blessed John Licci's father took him back to the neighbor's house, the man's paralysis was cured.
  So, the woman was allowed to care for the baby, so that her husband could walk.
  At age 15, Blessed John Licci joined the Dominicans. He was in the order as a priest for 96 years, thought to be the longest time ever for a member.
  Blessed John Licci founded the convent of St. Zita. He died on Nov. 14, 1511 at age 111. He was beatified on April 25, 1753.

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