Prayer to St. John of the Staff
OH, BLESSED ST. JOHN OF THE STAFF, you devoted your life to the service of God in the practice of humility, obedience and self-denial. You pleased God so much that He granted you the power to intercede for all who need you and seek your assistance here on earth. It is through this power that you can obtain for me my most urgent needs.
I am confident that you will look upon my requests with compassion and help me to endure my pains and sufferings. Oh, Blessed St. John of the Staff, hear my prayer and come to my aid. (Mention your petition)
I promise to love our Lord, whom you loved so much, with all my heart. I shall do all I can to spread your devotion and strive to imitate your practice of the holy virtues. Blessed St. John of the Staff, pray for me and bless me in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
(Indulgence of 100 days)
ST. JOHN OF THE STAFF SAINT JOHN OF THE STAFF was born in Paterno, a small village in the province of the Marches, in central Italy. His family was of humble origin. They were farmers.
Because of his piety, obedience and desire for learning, his parents decided to send him to the University of Bologna which was noted for its high academic standards. St. John not only excelled in his literary studies but he also attended the religious services and listened eagerly to the word of God and the Holy Scriptures.
He found life in the city, and his school companions too great a temptation to his virtue and purity. He did not wish to fall into sin, or disobey his parents who were eager for him to study at Bologna. He turned to God and prayed fervently that God would help him and free him from this anxiety. Our Lord answered his prayer, for St. John developed a very painful sore on one of his legs. It became necessary for his parents to take him home. Slowly, his condition improved but he remained lame for the rest of his life. As a result he had to lean on a staff in order to walk. He became known as “St. John of the Staff’.
Since he did not wish to be a burden upon his family, he decided to go to Fabriano to open a grammar school. As he lived and worked here, he became more and more imbued with the idea of retiring completely from the world and consecrating himself entirely to the service of God.
In Fabriano everyone was talking of the sanctity of St. Sylvester who had founded the Monastery of Montefano near Fabriano. St. Sylvester and his disciples lived in strict obedience of the holy rule of St. Benedict. St. John decided to consult St. Sylvester concerning his strong desire to enter the “Order of St. Benedict of Montefano”. St. Sylvester, the Holy Founder, gladly accepted him.
As a member of the Benedictine Order St. John could not engage in any physical activity because of his handicap. He devoted himself to writing, praying and teaching. Much of his time was also spent in the faithful imitation of the holy virtues which he admired in his elderly confreres, especially those of the great and holy St. Sylvester. The holiness of his life and his learning elicited such great esteem and consideration from everyone that St. Sylvester encouraged him to become a priest. At first, St. John was hesitant but humbly accepted the high dignity. Once a Priest he eagerly increased his efforts to perfect himself in all of the monastic virtues. When offering the sacrifice of the Mass, St. John’s devotion and fervor were so great that all were impressed and edified. By his continuous meditation of the Passion of our Lord, he developed a patience that helped him to bear with joy all the sufferings and pains in his life, especially that which was caused by his physical infirmity. He loved his sufferings because he considered them a special grace which God granted him for the preservation of his purity.
He was humble and very devoted to his confreres and was always ready to render them any service. St. John was most attentive and affable to those who suffered. He was prompt to receive charitably all outsiders and was ever ready to help all who turned to him for assistance.
For many years St. John was the prudent and wise counselor of St. Sylvester and of those who followed St. Sylvester as administrators of the Benedictine Order of Montefano. St. John died in Fabriano, on March 24, 1290. His tomb immediately became a holy place for pilgrimages and wondrous miracles. Even today, St. John lavishes many graces upon those who pray to him. He invites us to have recourse with faith and fervor to his intercession.