SAINTS

MARCH 20: ST. SALVATOR OF HORTA

(1520-1567)

St. Salvator of Horta was born of poor parents in 1520. Orphaned when still quite young, he tended cattle and was later sent as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Barcelona.

When he was 20 years old, he entered the Franciscan Order as a lay brother. He distinguished himself among his brethren by rigorous mortification, profound humility and extraordinary simplicity.

One anecdote about his early career relates how he was to help another brother in the kitchen. When the cook fell ill, Salvator was left to do all the preparations for the mid-day meal. Close to mealtime the Father Guardian went to the kitchen only to find it locked. He searched high and low for Salvator, finally finding him at prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Salvator had lost track of time and apologized profusely. When the kitchen was unlocked, the meal already was completely prepared.

After pronouncing his vows, Salvator was sent to the convent at Tortosa. Although he was assigned in turn to the duties of cook, porter and quester of alms. While gathering alms, St. Salvator often came upon sick people for whom his prayers were requested. He would make the Sign of the Cross over them, and immediately they were healed.

News of this spread abroad and may sick were brought to the convent. All were restored to health through the Sign of the Cross that Brother Salvator made over them. The crush of people seeking the blessings of Salvator became so great that the tranquility of the convent was completely upset, and he was transferred to Horta to reestablish peace.

Although the transfer was done in secret the people found him quickly again. The crowds increased with each passing day of those seeking his intervention in overcoming their afflictions. A grand inquisitor secretly visited the church where Salvator was working and witnessed the miraculous cures of the faithful. Salvator blessed them with the Sign of the Cross while he called upon the Blessed Trinity and imposed on them a few prayers in honor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whose intercession he ascribed all the cures.

Salvator’s superiors frequently imposed heavy trials upon him to secure his humility, but he always remained an obedient, humble and a contented religious. A prominent gentleman once warned Salvator that he should be on guard against pride and presumption. The good brother answered, “I always think of myself as a sack full of straw; the sack is indifferent as to whether it lies in a stable or is brought into a magnificent room.”

The last two years of his life were spent on the island of Sardinia, and there he died in the convent of Cagliari on March 18, 1567. Innumerable miracles occurred also at his grave. The uninterrupted devotion to the saint was confirmed by Pope Clement XI. Salvator was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1938.

Adapted by. A.J. Valentini from: St. Salvator of Horta. (n.d.). Roman Catholic Saints. Retrieved March 9, 2021, from https://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/saint-salvator-of-horta.html