Saint Andrew Corsini


Born on November 30, 1302, Saint Andrew Corsini was one of twelve children and a member of the noble Corsini family. He was named after Saint Andrew the Apostle as his birthday was on the Saint's feast day and his parents dedicated him to God. Saint Corsini spent his early years in youthful revolt against his parents until his parents rebuked him so strongly that he decided to spend the rest of his life trying to live a holy life. In particular, his mother had a dream before his birth that she told him at 17 - that she had given birth to a wolf that would eventually become a lamb when it walked into a Carmelite Church.


Despite his friends begging him not to join, Saint Corsini joined the Carmelite Monastery at the Santa Maria del Carmine church in 1318. For the next 10 years her strengthen his prayer and spiritual life and was ordained to the priesthood in 1328. At the time, it was customary to celebrate a Priest's mass with family and friends - Saint Corsini celebrated his first Mass in a hermitage so that he could avoid this tradition. He studied in Paris and then Avignon (where his uncle was serving as Cardinal) and was appointed the provincial of Tuscany in 1348.


Pope Clement VI appointed Saint Corsini the Bishop of Fiesole on October 13, 1349 and Saint Corsini immediately went into hiding, hoping to avoid being named Bishop. On his tomb, an inscription retells this event:


"he was snatched from the Carmel to the church and the miter of Fiesole"

As Bishop, Saint Corsini did not relax his austerity but rather doubled it. He strictly enforced discipline with the Diocesan priests, slept on a bed of vine-branches and wore an itchy hair shirt. He became so well known in the area as a peacemaker that Pope Urban V sent him as papal legate to Bologna to help settle strife between the ordinary citizens and the nobility there.


As he celebrated Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, 1373, Saint Corsini reported that he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who told him he would be departing this world on Epiphany. The following day he became ill and as foretold, he died on January 6 1373. He was buried on February 1374 and when his remains were exhumed in 1385, his remains were found to be incorrupt.



Tomb of Saint Andrew Corsini


Saint Corsini was beatified by Pope Eugene IV on April 21, 1440. Famously, prayers for his intercession were answered with the Florentine victory over the Milanese at the Battle of Anghiari in June of the same year. Saint Andrew Corsini was formally canonized by Pope Urban VIII on April 22, 1629. A relative much later in life, Pope Clement XII (born as Lorenzo Corsini) erected a chapel dedicated to Saint Corsini in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.





His feast day is celebrated on February 4th (January 9th in the Carmelite Order) and he is honored as the Patron Saint of Diplomats, against riots and civil disorders, and of Fiesole.

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