St Andrew Corsini

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Bishop of Fiesole. Andrew Corsini was the son of a rich Florentine family, born in 1302. He lead a dissolute youth until one day his mother told him she had dreamt about giving birth to a wolf. Andrew was so disturbed by this he slunk away to church where he prayed and reflected and experienced a complete change of heart.

In 1318 he became a Carmelite friar. Ten years later he was ordained priest. He offered his first Mass at a hermitage to avoid a big celebration. He studied in Paris and was made prior of his community in Florence. Later he was appointed bishop of Fiesole.

Through his ministry Andrew Corsini acquired a reputation as a healer both of bodies and souls. Many confirmed gamblers and drinkers found their faith through him. He was always concerned about the poor and sick and would actively seek out those too shy to come to him.

St Andrew Corsini was also gifted as a peacemaker. He was often called in to mediate between warring parties. The Pope made him nuncio to Bologna where there were great divisions between the nobility and the ordinary people. His rich family background meant he knew how to speak with the upper classes while his life of poverty as a monk made him acceptable to the poor. He was taken ill on Christmas night and died on the Feast of the Epiphany in 1373. Andrew Corsini was canonised in 1629. He is buried in the Carmelite church in Florence.

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