Blessed Simon Fidati of Cascia
Blessed Simon Fidati of Cascia (1295?-1348), an Augustinian Friar who advocated Gospel simplicity and community based on Christian love, was known for his powerful preaching and desire to form Christ in everyone.
Born in Cascia around 1295, Simon entered the Order of St. Augustine as a young man. He initially studied philosophy and science, but soon changed his focus to study spirituality and theology.
Simon loved solitude and contemplation, but in obedience to his superiors in the Order, willingly involved himself in apostolic work. He developed the reputation as a powerful preacher of the Word of God and an outstanding teacher of the spiritual life. Forming Christ in all people became the primary goal of all his ministry.
He was especially devoted to the humanity of Jesus, which he saw as a key to the life of a Christian. This devotion was rooted in the context of the Augustinian traditions of “theology of the heart” and the centrality of God's love.
In spite of some difficulties, Simon remained faithful to his vocation. He valued Christian charity, obedience to the Order and a sense of community of fraternal love as the most important underlying values for living religious community life.
His writings include The Works of Our Savior, a life of Christ written in the form of a commentary on biblical passages; The Order of the Christian Life, which inspires the reader to live in conformity to Christ, and Epistolary, a collection of approximately 50 of his letters.
Simon died in Florence February 2, 1348, during the Great Plague. His remains are preserved in Cascia at the Basilica of St. Rita. Pope Gregory XVI declared him Blesssed in 1833.