A Countervailing Saint for My Comfortable Month


This time, when I went to Jen Fulwiler’s Saint Generator, the man I pulled turned out to be a veritable Jean Valjean.  Here’s what happened in the life of Saint Conrad of Piacenza.

One day while hunting, Conrad ordered attendants to set fire to some brush in order to flush out the game. A strong wind carried the flames to nearby fields, forests, towns and villages, and Conrad fled in panic. An innocent peasant was imprisoned, tortured into a confession and condemned to death for the fire. Remorseful, Conrad stepped forward to confess, saving the man. He then paid for the damaged property, selling nearly all he owned in order to raise the cash.

Conrad and his wife saw the hand of God in the dramatic events, and chose to give the poor everything they had left. They then separated, she to a Poor Clare monastery, he to a group of Franciscan tertiary hermits.

It seems appropriate to have pulled a Franciscan saint for what will (finally!) be a very unFranciscan month for me.  Due to the way my leases fell, I haven’t had a place of my own to live permanently since the end of May, and hence, have been turning up in temporary housing in California, New York, Ireland, and bits of DC.

This week, I finally move into my home in DC.  I’ve actually been living out of a suitcase since before May, since it seemed silly to bring a lot of stuff to the apartment I moved into in January, since I knew I’d be moving again soon.  So I haven’t had a lot of stability in my housing for a good long while (I even gave up my sourdough culture, since it’s hard to move from house to house).

It’ll be a big relief to be settled, to be able to use my home for hospitality at last, but I like that I’ve drawn a Franciscan saint for this month of settling in as a counterbalance.  Hopefully, paying attention to Saint Conrad will help me become comfortable without being calcified, to live lightly even without a pressing logistical need to do so.


You can check out other Saint of the Month posts here.

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011 and lives in Washington DC. She works as a news writer for FiveThirtyEight by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."