mercredi 17 juin 2015

Saint RAINERIUS SCACCERI (RAINIER de PISE), ermite et pèlerin bénédictin

Andrea di Bonaiuto , Le voyage de retour de Rainier, 
fresque du Camposanto Monumentale, vers 1360,

Saint Rainier

Prédicateur laïc ( 1160)

Joueur de lyre, il sacrifia ses talents artistiques pour l'amour de Dieu. C'était en effet un troubadour renommé qui allait de châteaux en châteaux, chantant ses chansons accompagné de sa viole. Il en profitait pour y passer quelques nuits de péché, car les occasions ne lui manquaient pas. Mais un jour, il rencontra un saint moine de qui il reçut la lumière sur sa vie et lui rendit la grâce de Dieu. Il jeta sa viole au feu, s'en fut marchant pour se rendre pèleriner aux Lieux Saints. Faute d'argent, il s'engagea comme rameur sur une galère, ramant, mangeant avec les galériens, priant aussi avec eux et les amusant par sa bonne humeur au point qu'ils trouvèrent la traversée trop courte. Revenu à Pise, il entra au monastère de Saint Guy pour le reste de sa vie, bienfaiteur de ses concitoyens par sa joie. Les consuls de la ville le portèrent eux-mêmes en terre. Il est également très vénéré en Provence en raison des liens de cette région de France à la ville de Pise.

À Pise en Toscane, l’an 1160, saint Raynier, qui vécut pauvre et pèlerin pour le Christ.

Martyrologe romain


Tombe de Saint Rainerius (San Ranieri), Cappella di San Ranieri, Cathedral, Pisa

Rainerius Scacceri of Pisa, OSB Hermit (RM)

(also known as Raynerius, Rainerius, Rainier, Rainieri, Ranieri, Raniero, Regnier)

Born in Pisa, Italy, in 1117; died 1160; probably canonized by Pope Alexander III.

Among the saints were men of gay and exuberant spirit, one of whom was Rainerius, son of a prosperous merchant. As a youth Rainerius learned Latin, but he was not a scholar. Rainerius of the joyful spirit was a strolling minstrel. He sang his way with his fiddle from town to town, playing in the market places for people to dance to his tunes, and sleeping at night where he could, in a barn or under a hedge. Often he hardly slept at all, because he was playing the whole night long at a revel or feast.

One day, when performing in a castle where a great company was gathered, he met a holy man and he was so impressed that he paused in the singing of his ballads and asked him to pray for him. Afterwards he talked with him and, as a result, he was converted. Before the whole company, as a sign that he had finished for ever with his frivolous life, he threw his fiddle on the fire and wept for his sins. Those present were astonished at his action and to see the minstrel, of all men, weeping, and some indeed thought he was mad.

Rainerius was not so mad, however, as they supposed. He became a devoted Christian, and set himself up as a trader in order to earn money to enable him to travel to the Holy Land. He worked hard, selling his goods to the sailors in the harbor, rowing out in his boat to the vessels at anchor, and amusing all whom he met, for though he had thrown away his fiddle he had not lost his wit, and was a merry follower of our Lord.

In the course of time he amassed a fair sum of money; but one day when he opened his purse such a smell came from it that he thought it was of the devil. This made him give up all further thought of making money; he resolved to do without it and he embraced a life of poverty. Later he made his pilgrimage to Palestine, begging his way as he went, and when he had finished visiting the holy shrines in 1153, he returned to Pisa and entered Saint Andrew's monastery. Thereafter he migrated to San Vito (Saint Guy).

His early knowledge of Latin gave him access to the Bible and the Divine Office and enabled him to preach occasionally. His fame spread, for he had great wisdom and generosity; also innumerable cures were attributed to him. People came from far and wide to seek his counsel, and he became the philosopher and guide of many of his fellow citizens. In the monastery of San Vito, in the monk who had been a troubadour and who had thrown away his fiddle for Christ, they found one who understood their inner needs and who spoke to them wisely out of his own heart.

To the end he retained his high spirits and happy nature, which no doubt added to his fame and popularity, for they were wholly dedicated to his sacred calling. He was God's minstrel; God had put a new song into his mouth. With a glad and gay spirit he cared for the sick, set free the captive and exercised himself in countless other works of mercy and goodwill. We remember him among the happiest of the saints. He was held in the highest regard, and long after his death his name is venerated.

His acclaim was so great that he was immediately buried in Pisa cathedral, where it remains to this day. His name was entered in the Roman Martyrology in the 17th century. A contemporary vita was written by his confidant and counsellor Canon Benincasa (Benedictines, Farmer, Encyclopedia, Gill).
In art, Saint Raynerius is a bearded hermit in a hairshirt holding a rosary. He may also be portrayed (1) as a young pilgrim in a hairshirt carrying a banner with the Pisan cross; (2) being raised up by devils (like Saint Antony Abbot); or (3) dying in a hairshirt (Roeder). He is the patron of Pisa, Italy (Roeder).


Cecco di Pietro  (1330–1402). Saint Rainerius
tempera sur panneau, fond d’orl, 93.2 X 34.1

Blessed Ranieri Scacceri

Also known as
  • Ranieri of Pisa
  • Ranieri de Aqua
  • Rainer….
  • Rainerius….
  • Rainier….
  • Raniero…..
  • Raynerius….
  • Regnier….

Son of a wealthy merchant, he spent a wild and sinful youth as a wandering minstrel and musician, partying all night, sleeping by day if at all. One evening, while performing for a merry crowd in a castle, he met a holy man whose name has not come down to us. Ranieri felt drawn to the man, talked with him, and asked that the man pray for him. Whatever the man told him, Ranieri had a conversion experience, burned his fiddle, and gave up the life of a minstrel.

Falling back on what he learned from his father, Ranier became a merchant, trading with sailors and travelling from port to port. He was very successful, and while he lived a better life, it was still a worldly life. He built up quite a fortune, but one day found that his money gave off an evil stench. Ranieri took it as a sign, gave away his forture, and became a poor and penitential monk.

He made several penitential pilgrimages to Jerusalem and assorted holy shrines. Conventual oblate in the Benedictine abbey of Saint Andrew in Pisa, Italy in 1153. Oblate at the abbey of San Vito (Saint Guy) in Pisa. There he became known as a serious Bible student and sometime preacher, bringing to the pulpit his experience of working in front of an audience. An excellent speaker, he was a popular and romantic figure as the troubadour who traded his music for God, and was known for healing the sick with holy water.


San Ranieri di Pisa

1118 - 1161

Nacque nel 1118 da Gandulfo Scacceri e Mingarda Buzzacherini. Malgrado gli sforzi dei genitori desiderosi di impartirgli un'educazione rigorosa, visse la giovinezza all'insegna dello svago e del divertimento. Ma a diciannove anni la sua vita cambiò. Fu decisivo l'incontro con Alberto, un eremita proveniente dalla Corsica che si era stabilito nel monastero pisano di San Vito. Scelse quindi di abbracciare in pienezza la fede, tanto da partire per la Terra Santa. A 23 anni decise di vivere in assoluta povertà, liberandosi di tutte le ricchezze per darle ai poveri. Trascorse un lungo periodo presso gli eremiti di Terra Santa vivendo esclusivamente di elemosine. Mangiava due volte alla settimana sottoponendo il suo corpo a grandi sacrifici. Tornato a Pisa nel 1154, circondato dalla fama di santità, vi operò miracoli, così come aveva fatto in Terra Santa. Morì venerdì 17 giugno 1161. Nel 1632 venne eletto patrono principale della diocesi e della città di Pisa. (Avvenire)

Patronato: Pisa

Etimologia: Ranieri = invincibile guerriero, dal tedesco

Emblema: Pilurica, acqua

Martirologio Romano: A Pisa, san Raniero, povero e pellegrino per Cristo.

Ranieri nacque l'anno 1118. I genitori, Gandulfo Scacceri e Mingarda Buzzaccherini che appartenevano entrambi a famiglie benestanti, decisero di affiancare negli studi del loro unico figlio don Enrico di San Martino in Kinzica. Ma Ranieri, particolarmente dotato per la musica (imparò a suonare la lira) e per il canto, preferiva i divertimenti e gli svaghi agli studi e agli impegni. A nulla valsero gli sforzi dei genitori di ricondurlo ad un comportamento più cristiano: il giovane pisano trascorse la sua giovinezza trascurando gli insegnamenti dei genitori e quelli di don Enrico.

Fu all'età di 19 anni che Ranieri decise di cambiare radicalmente vita. L'incontro con un eremita di nome Alberto, proveniente dalla Corsica e stabilitosi nel monastero pisano di S. Vito, lo spinse ad abbracciare con convinzione la fede cristiana e porsi così al servizio di Dio. Ricevuto da Dio l'invito a recarsi in terra Santa, Ranieri partì senza indugio.

All'età di 23 anni decise di vivere in assoluta povertà: si liberò di tutte le ricchezze e le donò ai poveri e ai bisognosi. L'unica sua preoccupazione rimase quella di imitare meglio possibile il suo maestro, Gesù Cristo. Indossata la veste del penitente consegnata a tutti i pellegrini che si recavano al monte Calvario, la pilurica, trascorse un lungo periodo presso gli eremiti in Terra Santa, dove compì numerosi miracoli.

Punì il suo corpo con lunghi digiuni, astenendosi normalmente dal cibo tutti i giorni della settimana esclusi il giovedì e la domenica, cercando di vincere l'orgoglio personale dovuto alla fama che già lo circondava presso i fedeli. La rinuncia a sé e il totale servizio a Dio gli consentirono di superare le numerose tentazioni che il maligno non gli fece mai mancare nei 13 anni di soggiorno in Terra Santa.
Tornato a Pisa nel 1154 già circondato dalla fama di santo, continuò ad operare miracoli anche nella città natale: l'ammirazione dei suoi concittadini non poteva che accompagnarlo fino all'ultimo giorno di vita. Ranieri morì dopo sette anni dal suo rientro dalla Terra Santa, venerdì 17 giugno 1161.

Agli occhi dei pisani, Ranieri fu santo già in vita. Una volta abbandonata la vita terrena, un suo discepolo, il canonico Benincasa, si incaricò di scrivere nel 1162 una Vita del santo, testo che conobbe una certa fortuna per la traduzione del carmelitano fra Giuseppe Maria Sanminiatelli del 1755 e nuovamente edita sempre a Pisa nel 1842. Laico, come numerosi santi di quel secolo, Ranieri fu ricordato dai pisani anche per l'abitudine del santo di donare a chi gli si rivolgeva pane e acqua benedetti, ragione per la quale il canonico Benincasa chiamava il santo "Ranieri dall'Acqua" (forse immaginandone il cognome, ma certamente attestando l'abitudine dei prodigi per mezzo dell'acqua da lui benedetta). 

Nel 1632 l'Arcivescovo di Pisa, il Clero locale, il Magistrato pisano, coll'annuenza della sacra Congregazione dei Riti elessero Ranieri patrono principale della città e della diocesi. Il 1689 venne decisa la traslazione del suo corpo, che fu definitivamente collocato sull'altare maggiore. Durante la notte della traslazione i pisani illuminarono le loro case per rendere omaggio alla figura del loro santo più amato.

Massimo Salani