A 17-Year-Old Augustinian Hero of Faith Named John

This August, our blog is focusing on the lives of six significant Augustinian Heroes of Faith.  Our first commemorates a young man that made such an impact on our Order that the Pope beatified him!  He was only 17 years old!

Illustration of Blessed John Bufalari of Rieti by János Hajnal in Il Fascino di Dio: Profili de Agiografia Agostiniana by Fernando Rojo Martínez, O.S.A.  Copyright 2000 Pubblicazioni Agostiniane Rome.  Used with permission.  Original art preserved in the Office of Augustinian Postulator of Causes, Rome.

John Bufalari was born around the year 1318 in Italy.  There's not a ton we know about his life.  We do think that he was the brother of another Augustinian Hero:  Blessed Lucy Bufalari of Amelia.  So how is it that the Catholic Church beatified a young man that we don't know a lot about?

Well, we know that John was well-known for his innocence.  He was also known to be a simple man with a deep affection for his Augustinian community.  The simplicity he saw in life often illustrated a greater love for God.  A story goes that he was once found crying after spending time in his monastery's garden.  Someone asked him why he was crying to which he answered that while the plants, trees, and birds were obedient to God, men and women - to whom eternal life is promised - are disobedient to their Creator.

John died around the year 1336 at only 17 years old.  And yet, Pope Gregory XVI declared John to be a Blessed in 1832, almost 500 years after his death!  John's love and innocence must have served as a role model for the generations of friars to follow in his footsteps.  And so, it is a great honor for us to remember John every year on his feast day, August 2.

Blessed John Bufalari of Rieti also serves as an example for our youth.  Even in our teens, today's youth can be a role model for others.  John himself has been a role model for ages!  We pray to John for his intercession that God may grant us the ability to appreciate the beauty of the world and love for others in our community.

Blessed John Bufalari of Rieti, pray for us!


Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy has been working with the Augustinians in fundraising and communications since 2010. He began working with the Augustinian Vocations office in 2015. He also holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management.

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