St Rainier of Pisa

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Born in 1117, the son of prosperous merchants, St Rainier enjoyed a wild youth. He loved music and dancing, partying all night with friends, then sleeping all day. But when he was about 23 his aunt introduced him to a wandering monk who persuaded him there was more to life than dissipation and self-indulgence.

St Ranier's change of heart was so dramatic, his parents feared for his sanity. He walked barefoot, ate only on Sundays and Thursdays and drank only water. However after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he returned in a calmer state and spent the rest of his life living quietly in monasteries and occasionally preaching.

Many healings and conversions are attributed to him. He is the patron saint of Pisa.

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