jeudi 16 mars 2017

Bienheureux TORELLO de POPPI, moine-ermite bénédictin


Bienheureux Torello de Poppi

Ermite italien ( 1282)

Il voulait se livrer aux bonnes œuvres près des pauvres, mais il les abandonna pour se livrer à une liaison dépravée avec deux jeunes gens à quoi il ajouta une maîtresse qui captiva son cœur. Malgré tous les conseils et les reproches, il mena cette vie dissolue plusieurs années. Et puis, un beau jour, l'enfant prodigue, tourmenté de remords et dégoûté de cette vie, s'en fut en parler au supérieur du monastère de Vallombreuse qui l'accueillit avec une grande indulgence et une compréhensive bonté. Torello commença alors une vie de pénitence et devint moine-ermite à Vallombreuse, volontairement emmuré dans sa cellule. Il connut de grandes souffrances et les accepta comme une participation au salut du Christ sur la croix. Son culte fut confirmé par le pape Benoît XIV.


Blessed Torello of Poppi, OSB Vall. Hermit (AC)

Born in Poppi, Tuscany, Italy, in 1201; died 1281; cultus confirmed by Benedict XIV. Although Saint Torello led a dissolute life in bad company, he experienced a sudden conversion. After repenting he received the habit of a recluse from the Vallumbrosan abbot of San Fedele. He lived as an austere recluse, walled up in his cell near Poppi, for 60 years. Both Vallumbrosans and Franciscans claim him. It seems certain that he was, at any rate, a Vallumbrosan oblate (Attwater2, Benedictines).


Blessed Torello of Poppi

(Beato Torello di Poppi)


Feast Day – March 16


Born 1202 in the Tuscan town of Poppi, Blessed Torell of Poppi came from the noble family of Torelli. When he lost his parents at the age of eighteen, he was thinking of devoting himself to the service of God and gave generous alms to the poor. But he had two bad friends and was soon corrupted by their example and influence, so that he became the scandal of the town.

One day, when he was about thirty-six years old, Blessed Torello of Poppi was amusing himself with his associates at the game of bowling. During the game a cock perched on his arm and crowed three times. Torello took this as a warning from heaven, deserted his friends without delay, and went to confession to a priest at the abbey of San Fedele, one of the houses of the Vallombrosan Benedictines.
Torello then went into the nearby Cosentino mountains to look for a suitable place for a hermitage. After wandering around in the woods for eight days, he found a cave in a secluded spot called Avellaneto, not far from Poppi.

After purchasing the land around this cave and giving what remained of his property to the poor, he built a little hermitage at the cave and cultivated a small vegetable garden to provide himself with food. But he ate very little and fasted for days at a time. He limited his sleep to three hours daily, and slept on a bed of brushwood and thorny twigs. To overcome the persistent temptations of the flesh and the devil, he scourged himself unmercifully and sometimes immersed himself in freezing water.

Under his wollen habit he wore a shirt of pigskin from which only some of the bristles had been removed. He kept up this life of penance for about forty-five years; and as Wadding tells us, he became a member of the Third Order of St Francis in the fourth year of his conversion.

Like St Francis, he possessed a supernatural power over the wolves, of whom there were many in the Casentino mountains during the thirteenth century. He worked several miracles in behalf of children who were carried off by wolves, and for others who were attacked and bittn by wolves, both before and after his death. When he was eighty years old, Blessed Torello went back to the abbey of San Fedele to make a general confession of his whole life and to ask that his body be buried at the abbey.

Despite the entreaties of the monks that he spend his last days in their care, Torello returned to his hermitage, where another hermit, Peter of Poppi, had joined him. And there he died on March 16, 1282, while kneeling in prayer. He was beatified by Pope Benedict XIV.

At the tomb of Blessed Torello of Poppi in the abbey church, a man who was an exile from Siena prayed that he might be permitted to return to his native city. He promised to observe the feast of Blessed Torello every year and to have a picture of the holy hermit painted. His prayer was answered, and he engaged the services of an artist. But the latter had never seen Blessed Torello and did not know what to do. Then he had a dream or vision in which he saw Torello, wearing the habit of the Third Order and holding a wolf-cub in his arms. And this is how the painting represents Blessed Torello of Poppi.

from: The Franciscan Book Of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, OFM



Beato Torello da Poppi Eremita


1202 - 1282

Secondo l’antica “Vita” anonima, il beato Torello nacque a Poppi (in Toscana) nel 1202 da genitori pii e devoti che lo educarono nel timor di Dio. 

In gioventù Torello passò anni nell’inquietitudine. Verso i vent’anni però, quasi improvvisamente, egli decise di cambiar vita. Per questo motivo si recò dall’abate di S. Fedele, monastero vallombrosano situato nella cittadina di Poppi, per confessarsi e per esternagli la sua volontà di ritirarsi come eremita ad Avellaneto, ad un miglio da Poppi. 

Ad Avellaneto, per circa sessant’anni, Torello condusse una austera vita di contemplazione. Molti miracoli in quel periodo si attribuirono a Torello, celebri sono quelli che riguardano i lupi.

Quando Torello si sentì prossimo alla morte, egli tornò dall’abate di San Fedele per aiuto spirituale e per esternargli il desiderio di essere sepolto nella chiesa del monastero. 

Ritornato nel suo eremo, in compagnia del suo discepolo Pietro, il 16 marzo 1282, Torello, ormai ottantenne, morì. 

La sua morte fu annunciata agli abitanti di Poppi e del Casentino con il suono delle campane.

Dopo la morte, però, ecco i monaci vallombrosani e vari gruppi di fedeli contendersi il corpo di Torello per la sepoltura: ciascuno voleva seppellirlo nella propria chiesa. La spuntarono i vallombrosani, che così poterono seppellire il beato Torello nella loro chiesa di Poppi.

Verso la fine del XV secolo, una nuova controversia dovette sorgere sul beato estinto. Quella volta, il beato Torello fu oggetto di contesa tra i vallombrosani e i francescani. Ognuno di questi due ordini sosteneva che Torello era appartenuto al proprio ordine. 

La pretesa dei vallombrosani si basava sui rapporti, indiscussi, tra Torello e l’abate di S. Fedele; quella dei francescani si basava solo sul fatto che Torello in vita aveva portato un (solo) abito simile al loro e aveva condotto un genere di vita simile ai (primi) francescani.

Sembra, però, che Torello non fosse appartenuto a nessuno di questi due istituti religiosi, sebbene, come già detto, fu vicino ai vallombrosiani della città di Poppi. 

Il culto al beato Torello è stato confermato da papa Benedetto XIV. Il Martirologio francescano ricorda il beato il 16 marzo. Nello stesso giorno il beato è festeggiato nelle diocesi di Forlì e di Arezzo, nonché nella congregazione Vallombrosana.

Tra le fonti per la biografia del beato vanno ricordate la “Vita” anonima, edita negli Acta Sanctorum di Parigi del 1865, l’epitome di Gerolamo da Raggiuolo e una Vita, scritta in volgare nel XIV secolo, attribuita al discepolo Pietro. In alcuni testi, Torello viene indicato col titolo di santo così come da molti è stato venerato.


Autore: Francesco Roccia