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St. Conrad of Piacenza

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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

Born to a noble and wealthy family in the town of Piacenza, Italy, Conrad’s early life was marked by privilege and leisure but also a deep faith in the Lord. Having married quite young, both he and his wife were recognized for their piety and charity. 

During a hunting outing, Conrad ordered his attendants to scatter some brush and light it on fire in attempts to smoke out some game hiding there. Without warning, a great wind arose, spreading the fire and causing severe damage to neighbors’ homes and land. Authorities mistakenly arrested a mendicant friar living in the area, and the man was tried and sentenced to death. Conrad confessed to the crime and sold all his possessions to pay restitution to those who had lost property. Now destitute, he and his wife separated, Conrad entering a monastery of the Franciscan Order, and his wife entering the Order of Poor Clares.

St. Conrad spent the remainder of his life in Rome, and then in Sicily, living a life of repentance, penance, and austerity. As news of his piety and holiness spread, he received many visitors which forced him to relocate numerous times, preferring the solitude of penitence. He fled to the valley of Noto, Italy, where he lived as a hermit for 36 years.

Numerous miracles have been attributed to St. Conrad during his lifetime and also at his tomb in Noto, Italy after his death. Conrad died while praying before a crucifix in 1350. While he is recognized and referred to as saint, Conrad has never been officially canonized.

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