August 2 – Blessed John of Rieti


Holiness is not achieved according to the length of one’s life, but through the depth of one’s love. Blessed John of Rieti ended his earthly pilgrimage while still a teenager and at the very beginning of his life as a friar.

Nonetheless, he was an individual who had learned early on the wisdom of Gospel truths, and lived them with simplicity and joy.

John was born in Castel Porchiano, near the city of Amelia, in the region of Umbria, Italy, around the year 1318. He entered the Order in his teenage years and was sent to Rieti where he remained until his death. The Augustinian historian, Jordan of Saxony, described John as: “simple, humble and always cheerful; he was always friendly and social, and acted no differently from others in eating, drinking, and the other things that regard the common life of the friars; but he was unique with regard to his interior life.

He was filled with love for his fellow religious and treated them with such charity that he was never heard to say or do anything contrary to fraternal love. He was reverential toward everyone, and especially toward the sick and visitors, showing them the goodness of his generous heart.”

John died in 1336 at the age of 18, and immediately reports circulated of graces received through his intercession. He was buried in the Church of Saint Augustine in Rieti and his cult was confirmed by Gregory XVI in 1832. He is the patron of young professed friars of the Order.

 John is an example of holiness achieved, not through exceptional accomplishments or practices, but in the ordinary things of life. Thus he is an example to people of every state of life in following the principles of Gospel spirituality, particularly generosity, simplicity and Christian joy.