Saint Bénoît Labre was born on March 26, 1748 in Amettes, Pas-de-Calais, France. He was the son of a peasant family and had a religious childhood, which led him to consider religious life from an early age. However, he was not very good at studies and was often ill.
At the age of 16, Benedict left home to pursue a life of pilgrimage and prayer. He visited several shrines in Europe, including Rome, Assisi and Loreto, and he became a wandering pilgrim. He chose to live in extreme poverty, wearing rags and eating only begging. His life was marked by extreme deprivation and constant prayer.
Bénoît Labre eventually became a traveling hermit, traveling from shrine to shrine, sharing faith and prayer with the people he met along the way. His humility and charity touched many people, and he became famous for his holiness and austere lifestyle.
On April 16, 1783, Bénoît Labre died in Rome at the age of 35. His death was preceded by several years of suffering from illness and malnutrition. He was buried in the Sainte-Marie-des-Monts church, where his tomb became a place of pilgrimage.
Legacy and canonization:
Benedict Labre was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on February 22, 1860 and canonized by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1881. He is recognized as the patron saint of pilgrims, the homeless and hermits.
The life of Bénoît Labre is an example of self-denial and devotion to God through the life of prayer and charity towards others. His humble and austere life inspired many people to follow a life of holiness as part of their religious vocation or daily life.
Today, many churches and shrines around the world are dedicated to Saint Benedict Labre, and he continues to be revered by Catholic believers for his testimony of faith and simplicity.