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 romainRainerius 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).