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Blessed Amadeus of Savoy – A Model of Charity

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Ave Maria Hour Radio Show

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Rebroadcast of the long-running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour," a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

This week’s broadcast is the story of Blessed Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy, a pious and charitable ruler.

Amadeus was the son of Duke Louis I of Savoy. He was born in 1435 in Thonon, Savoy and betrothed as an infant to Princess Yolanda, the daughter of Charles VII of France. They were married in 1451, and Amadeus succeeded his father as Duke of Savoy.

Duke Amadeus proved to be a wise and fair ruler who strived for peace and was known for his compassion and generosity to the poor. On one occasion when a visiting ambassador bragged to Amadeus of all the fine hunting dogs that his monarch possessed, the Duke replied by pointing to a terrace filled with tables at which the hungry were being fed. "These," he said, "are my packs and my hunting dogs. It is with the help of these poor people that I chase after virtue and hunt for the kingdom of heaven." 

Duke Amadeus was a lifelong victim of epilepsy. Around 1471, his seizures became so incapacitating that he entrusted the rule of his duchy to his wife Yolanda. His subjects became discontented and started a revolution, imprisoning the Duke. Only the intervention of King Louis XI of France, his brother-in-law, secured his release. 

Duke Amadeus IX of Savoy died on March 30, 1472 at the age of 37. In 1677, Pope Innocent XI proclaimed the generous ruler "blessed."

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