Saint Benedict Menni
Born: 11th March 1841, Milan, Italy
Died: 24th April 1914 Dinan, France
Feast Day: 24th April
Patron Saint: Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, People with mental health issues, The sick, Volunteers
Shrine: Motherhouse of the Congregation of Hospitaller Sisters, Ciempozelos, Spain
Also Known As: Benedetto Menni
Canonised: 21st November 1999 by Pope John Paul II
Saint Benedict Menni was born on March 11th, 1841 as the 5th child of 15 to Luigi and Luisa. Four actions influenced Benedict greatly, he took a spiritual retreat at 17, took advice from a hermit, prayed fervently to the virgin Mary everyday and the work of St John of God brothers, caring for wounded soldiers arriving at Milan station. With so much influence, Benedict gave up his well-paid position in a bank and joined the Order of Saint John of God Hospitaler and after studying Theology and Philosophy was ordained in 1866. By order of Pope Pus IX in 1867 he began the restoration of the Saint John of God Order in Spain and Portugal, going on to Mexico.
He founded the Congregation of Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 31st May 1881 and cared for abandoned children, the elderly, mentally ill and polio victims until he died in 1914 in Dinan France. With his tireless charity he created 22 large centres including homes for the needy, general hospitals and psychiatric hospitals.
After official acceptance of the miraculous healing of Asuncion Cacho thanks to his intercession, he was proclaimed "Blessed" in St Peter's Basilica by Pope John Paul II on 23 June 1985.