January 02, 2019

⛪ Blessed Sylvester of Troina - Abbot

⛪ Saint of the Day : January 2

 Other Names : Silvestro di Troina

 Born :
• Late 11th or early 12th century in Troina, Sicily, Italy

 Died :
• 2 January 1164 in Troina, Sicily, Italy after miracles were reported at his grave, a church dedicated to him was built over it in 1625

 Patronage : Limina, Sicily, Italy, Troina, Sicily, Italy

Eastern monasticism, especially in Southern Italy, the ancient Magna Graecia, followed by the Byzantine occupation, attesting species in Calabria and Sicily. 

And among the numerous monasteries built in Sicily, there was that of Troina (Enna) dedicated to St. Michael, under the Rule of St. Basilio for which the monks were called 'Basilians'; and in this cenobio, great center of spirituality of the time, lived the monk Sylvester. 

Born towards the end of the eleventh century and the beginning of the XII just in Troina, we do not know much about him, but the stories of various prodigious episodes that saw him as protagonist have come down to us; when he entered the monastery of San Michele at a young age, he distinguished himself for his outstanding charity.

On the silver base of the precious ferculo that depicts it, a constant tradition is engraved that tells of the help given to an old beggar, revealed later for the Lord Jesus. 

Local historians say that in an hour he went to Catania, to venerate s. Agate martyr on the day of her feast; the prodigy consists in the fact that the monastery was distant forty miles from the city of Etna and he was on foot both on the way and on the way back. 

Around 1155 he went to Rome to visit the new pope Hadrian VI, who ordained him a priest. When he returned to Palermo, he healed the young William, son of the king of Sicily, William I (1154-1156), which gave him a vast reputation for holiness and returned to Troina and was elected abbot.

After a few years he retired, eager for greater asceticism, building a cell next to an oratory dedicated to St. Bartholomew, a short distance from the monastery. 

He died on 2 January 1164 in Troina. His cult "ab immemorabili", was confirmed by Pope Julius III (1487-1555), his liturgical feast is 2 January; on the day of his feast, a suggestive procession of men astride barded mules and loaded with laurels, goes to his sepulcher and each places a branch of laurel on his grave.

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