Benedict Joseph Labr ( Fr. Benoît Joseph Labre - Benoit Joseph Labr ; 1748 - 1783 ) - Catholic saint , beggar monk and holy fool .
Born in northern France in the family of a wealthy merchant, where he was the eldest of 15 children. From childhood, he was distinguished by deep religiosity, committing public acts of repentance for his sins. At the age of 16, he tried to become a monk in the orders of Trappists , Cartesians , Cistercians , but was refused because of his inability to live in a team.
According to some information, Labr received a certain enlightenment from above and realized that “according to the will of God, like Saint Alexis , he must leave his country, his parents and everything that connected him to the world, and begin a new life, a life full of disease and punishment, not in seclusion or shutter, but in the midst of worldly events to visit the most famous places of Christian pilgrimage. ” 
First, Benedict Labr visited Rome on foot, eating exclusively alms and going to bed outdoors. Then he also walked and begging, made (in some places repeatedly) trips to Loreto , Assisi , Naples , Bari , Einsiedel in Switzerland, Pare-le-Monial in France, Compostella in Spain. According to eyewitnesses, he shared alms with other beggars, spoke little, prayed a lot and patiently endured attacks.
Labr is considered an example of the holy fool for the sake of the Western Church. During prayer, he often put on a crown of thorns on his head, healed and fed the sick and needy. The saint spent the last years of his life in Rome, where he received the nickname "holy forty hours." Died of malnutrition during Holy Week while in the temple.
Labr was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1881 . Memorial Day - April 16th .
Many observers are interested in the fact that Pope Benedict XVI was born on the day of commemoration of Benedict Joseph Labr on April 16, and was also named Joseph.
- ↑ The Life of Benedict Joseph Labr on the website of the Catholic Monastery (Eng.) Archived on May 4, 2008.
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- St. Benedict Joseph Labre // Catholic Encyclopedia