Here is a saint for our current, violent times.
February 4 is the traditional feast day of St. Andrew Corsini, bishop (+1373). He is to be invoked against riots and civil disorder. Read on to see why.
One of 12 children of a well-to-do family in Florence, Andrew was born on the feast of St. Andrew, 30 November 1302. Despite consecrating him to God, the family watched him lead a wild and dissolute life in his teens. A teary rebuke from his mother appears to have caused him to go to the family church, Santa Maria del Carmine. There, coming to some realizations, he resolved to join the Carmelites.
Andrew was accepted into the order at the age of 16, learning humility and study. He was ordained in 1328. His first Mass was in a hermitage 7 miles from home to avoid a family celebration. At first, he preached in Florence and was known as an eloquent speaker and a wise judge. A few years later, he was sent to the University of Paris and to Avignon for further studies.
Returning to Florence in 1332, he was chosen the prior of his convent. He enforced discipline on his friars and assisted the poor as best he could. Eventually, he kept lists of the poor and sent the families allowances.
In 1348, Andrew was appointed the order’s Tuscan Provincial. His ability to help others expanded.
In 1360, the Bishop of Fiesole died and Pope Clement appointed Andrew as replacement. Andrew is said to have hidden in an attempt to not take the office and was found by a child. He doubled down on his penances, wearing a hair shirt and sleeping on a bed of vines. Miracles were reported. For example, when Andrew was washing feet in a ceremony, one man refused, claiming sores on his feet. He was cured immediately. Bishop Corsini acquired a reputation as a peacemaker between rival factions.
Eventually, Andrew served as a papal legate under Pope Urban to solve a breach between nobles and common people. His family connections were acceptable to the nobles. His help of the poor and his austerity, that everyone noted, made him acceptable to the people. He eventually got the peace the pope wanted.
On Christmas Eve, 1372/3, Bishop Corsini was celebrating Mass. The Blessed Virgin is said to have appeared to him and told him he would leave life on the Feast of the Three Kings. He fell sick hours later and did, indeed, die on January 6.
Miracles after prayers to the bishop became frequent after he died. This lead to investigations and his canonization in 1629
From the novena to St. Andrew Corsini:
God our Father, you reveal that those who work for peace
will be called your children.
Through the prayers of St. Andrew Corsini,
who excelled as a peacemaker help us to work without ceasing
for that justice which brings truth and lasting peace.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord.