Confessor (1290 - 1351)
A member of one of the first families of Piacenza in northern Italy, St. Conrad married young and embarked on a military career. He was passionately found of the chase and when one day, his quarry escaped into a thicket, he ordered it to be set on fire. But a sudden strong wind caused the flames to spread quickly over all the nearby fields and forests and caused widespread damage. For this a poor woodcutter who happened to be found in the neighborhood, was blamed, tried and condemned to death on circumstantial evidence.
Upon hearing of this turn of events, St. Conrad came forward and acknowledged his own guilt, promising to make amends as far as lay in his power by selling all of his possessions. He and his wife then took up the religious life __ she became a Poor Clare and he joined the Third Order of St. Francis and lived thereafter as a hermit in a solitary cave near Noto in Sicily.
Each Friday for the next 30 years, he visited the celebrated crucifix at Noto, and here he was found dead on his knees on 19 February 1351. St. Conrad, whose mortal remains were laid to rest in the Church of St. Nicholas in Noto, is invoked in cases of hernia.
Reflection :"Thy cross, O Lord, is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces; by it the faithful find strength in weakness, glory in shame, life in death" (St. Leo.)