St. Amico was born in Marte, in Camerino County Castle.* "of a noble family of Ramibone or Arabone."**
He lived 120 years, according to the 'Long Life' biographer. That would mean that he was born in the year 925.
His parents named him Amico ('friend') at his baptism.*
He was a monk and hermit from the Benedictine Monastery of FonteAvellana, also called: Monastery of San Pietro Avellana (which is close to where the mother Church of sts. Peter & Paul is located now, in 2013). The Grand Fountain (Fontana Grande) was also nearly the original Monastery.
St Amico was burried, "Outside the basilica, precisely on the side which faces to the north, the body of Saint Amico was given a rather modest burial: this was his wish expressed to his confrères before dying.
But the miracles which often occurred on his tomb began to multiply in such a way that God made clearly known how He had glorified his soul in heaven, and so wanted that the sepulchre be glorious on earth.
Just a few years after his death, an altar was raised on his tomb. Then, the love and faith of his confrères and of the devout dedicated a church to him because the memory of the humble saint remained constant: friend of God, friend of his neighbor. . .
The church of Saint Amico can be considered a nave of the mother church; in fact it rests itself against this church. It connects with the mother church by means of a large door."*
"The earthquake of 1456, the most disastrous recorded in the history of the zone, inexorably destroyed the church, the monastery, and the houses in the blink of an eye. In a single moment, everything was reduced into a pile of stones and wreckage. . . The community of the priests was decimated. . .
The village, following in the footsteps of the good and holy monks, rose again more beautiful than before. However, the monastery no longer breathed a word. The priests, the few who were left, were easily absorbed into the Monte Cassino Monastery, on which they depended.
Some years passed, and here we are in the year 1623. Father Bernardino De Saivedra, abbot and ordinary of Monte Cassino solemnly goes to San Pietro Avellana, followed by four monks. In the presence of the archpriest, the mayor, and many townsmen and faithful, he officially proclaims the discovery and recognition of the body of Saint Amico.
This was a most important event in the history of the village, because from this moment the influx of the pilgrims became greater and greater. At this time, the marble altar which encloses and protects the remains of the Saint is raised again, as is the namesake church dedicated to him"*
His biographer says that he lived to the age of 120 years.*
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Description of the marble enclosed ark (sarcophagus) tomb:
"A void of oval form, which opens under the altar. In the oval, between the cracks of the brass mesh which encloses it, . . .
is seen a part of the saint's tomb, all in bright stone.
On the right side of the altar there is this inscription:
R. P. D. Bernardinus de Saavedra Abbas Cassin.
Altare hoc lapide variato ante Arcam lapideam in Qua
Corpus S. Amici Asservatur faciendum Curavit
Ann. DNI. MDCXXIII. DIE XXII. SEPT.
(R. P. D. Bernard de Saavedra Cassinese Abbot
This altar of varied stone is before the stone stronghold in which
the body of Saint Amico is observed to be made to rest
September 22, in the year of Our Lord 1623)
This then is the tomb of Saint Amico!"*
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
*From in the book, 'Saint Amico in San Pietro Avellana',
(which includes the Long Life biography of St Amico)
by Fr. Sabatino Frazzini (Book published in 1961).
**Historical Notes and Anecdotes form San Pietro Avellana, Chapter 2.
The 'Short Life' (From Acta Sanctorum)
THIS 'SHORT LIFE' STORY OF ST. AMICO IS FROM ACTA SANCTORUM, NOVEMBRIS, TOM II (PART 2), VOLUME 61,
PARS PRIOR, PAGES 100-102.
This translation from Latin is by Fr. Leo Melancon M.M. (Christmas 1992).
Visit his grave, and say a prayer at this link: Fr Leo Melancon's "resting spot "
Note: words in (paraenthesis) were added for clarity by editor: Robert Morrison, who is the Grandson of Amico Morelli, a son of San Pietro Avellana.
"THE LIFE OF ST. AMICO MONACHO (Monk)
(FRIEND OF GOD, MAN, & CREATURES)
PRIEST AND CONFESSOR
Blessed Amico was born of noble stock, in the territory of Camerino, in the town known as Marte, where he was reared and nourished. When he was sent to study, he was acknowledged sufficiently prepared and received the priesthood.
(HERMIT AND MODEL OF VIRTUE)
A little later, he received the monastic habit, advancing daily in virtue, he felt (spiritually) stronger. While evangelizing large stretches of desert, and having reached the top of a mountain, he looked for the cave The Lord had prepared for him. Blessing himself repeatedly, he entered the cave, where he stayed for three years, without human solace, and was divinely refreshed with a meager fare. As his fame spread, from all parts, men came to him for eternal life. Many people, at his bidding, gave large donations to the poor. Other people, renouncing worldly goods, dedicated themselves to the service of The Lord.
(HEROIC GENEROSITY, HUMILITY, & FORGIVENESS)
On a certain day, on his way to accompany (Mr.) Balluensem, he fell in with two robbers, who seeing Amico riding on his mule, approached him, brushed him aside, mounted the mule, and off the robbers went. Amico, at once, ran after them shouting, "Children, take also my spurs, to further assist your journey!" They (accepted the gift), and brashly went their way, rejoicing at the booty which was now theirs.
The man of God stood there a bit, striving to drive from his heart this injury and loss, and he proposed never to think of it again. Now, quite tired, he sought out the shade of a tree to rest.
The robbers, came to a river called Vera (15 km. N/W of S. Pietro). Still brash, the robbers, without the slightest hesitation went to cross the river. The mule they were riding - as by, we believe divine command - stood still in the middle of the river. The Mule now tired of being beaten and kicked, bolted, and splashed the water and casting the robbers into the river, and then further showered them contentedly with splashes. The robbers, rising from the water, were brought shortly to their senses. Once on land, they talked over this strange incident, admitting that their present plight was a consequence of the injury and loss they had caused to the Holy Man.
The mule, having gained the shore, went straight way, as a dog would, and trotted to the Blessed Man of God, as if led by someone. The mule then left the road and hurried to Blessed Amico and stayed with him.
The robbers took up the chase for the mule they had lost, reached the spot where God's Amico was reposing, the mule verily seemed to be applauding Blessed Amico, caressing his feet, and enjoying freedom from the robbers. These robbers, witnessing the mule's act of admiration, were astounded and finally acknowledged Amico as a servant of God. The robbers, with tears in their eyes, then prostrated themselves before him, asking for his pardon, confessing that they acted very badly; The Man of God replied, "My children, here, take the mule which you had robbed, with my blessing - only, refrain from your pernicious robberies." But, the robbers wouldn't accept the gift, promising, that with God's help they would abstain from all robberies. Amico, calling them to come closer, gave them a penance and sent them on their way. He himself resumed his own journey.
(FRIEND OF THE MEEK)
At that time, a soldier at seeing the only bullock (calf) of a peasant took it away. The peasant on his knees begged the soldier not to deprive him of the one thing he owned, but it was to no avail. Moaning this injury and loss, he was disconsolate. The peasant went to Blessed Amico and presented his case to him. The Holy Man was deeply moved. Amico, after praying decided to plead with the soldier. Very humbly, he exposed the wrong that had been committed. The soldier boasted that, "Bishop, Priest, Monk nor anyone else would make him restore his take. The Holy Man took to task this fearless disregard of the religious state of life, warning the soldier of his impending death. Shortly after a tumult arose, (and) the soldier made an attempt to bring about peace, but injudiciously he was seriously injured and died. The people got to know the story of Amico and the soldier, and forthwith returned the bullock (calf) to its owner.
(THE ALTAR OF ST. MICHAEL & THE POWER OF HIS PRAYER)
At that time, in the territory of Esculano, near the river Clarinus (Chiaro, 25 km. south of S. Pietro), far removed from habitations, his brothers were troubled by his frequent absence from the periods of prayer. Blessed Amico, always striving to be all things to all men, somewhat unwillingly accepted to dwell in a crypt (cave), closer to his brothers, that they had proposed, some 7000 ft. away. Unfortunately the eastern entrance was narrowed by a huge rock, which also made the crypt dark inside. Not withstanding (the problem of darkness), Blessed Amico invited the Bishop of Esculano to dedicate the altar, to Saint. Michael the Archangel. Often, when the brethren gathered there (for prayer), they pondered at the darkness within (the cave). Consequently the man of God, with a rod in his hand, circumscribed the huge rock, saying to his brethren, 'Would, that God's mighty power crush this boulder, thus letting light brighten the crypt, so that the divine mysteries we celebrate might favor us with supernatural light." Leaving his brethren there at the entrance, he approached the boulder and beseeched the Almighty for this favor.
(FRIEND OF GOD)
As of ancient times, God had treated so graciously his friend Moses, so now He benignly pleased His beloved Amico. In a thunder clap, the boulder was shattered to the core, frightening all who had come to worship, and even those enjoying their first morsel (of food) ran away to avoid being injured. But, all of the crushed boulder surged aloft and landed below (them). The spot outlined by the rod of God's servant was found clear and smoother than the walls of the crypt itself. The location of this oratory (chapel cave) is called by the inhabitants, "The stone of the Entrance."
(FRIEND OF MAN)
On a certain day, when with a goodly group, he was repairing walls. Some men were bringing some logs (for the construction), when due to their carelessness, a log fell on the foot of one of the men breaking the bones. The unfortunate man, in great pain, along with his co-workers, shouted to Saint Amico to come to help them. Amico, full of compassion, hurried to their aid. Marking the foot with the sign of the cross, the Man of God said, "My son, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, be cured, you are now able to return to work!" The man jumped to his feet and went back to work, praising God and the Servant of God, Amico.
(FRIEND OF CREATURES)
A prominent citizen provided the food for Amico. Blessed Amico had bread reserved for him self. Amico ordered his caretaker to feed his many dogs. The caretaker, caring little for the provisions, inadvertently threw a piece of bread to one dog. The dog rushed to it, squatted, began looking it over, licking it, but not biting it, obeying a divine command to respect that reserved bread. The caretaker was astonished (at the dog's behavior). Checking the provisions, the caretaker understood the reason, and rectified the provisions. The account spread throughout the region.
That parcel of bread is venerated with great devotion. [Editor's note: In the side chapel of the Church of San Pietro & Paul, which is dedicated to Saint Amico, there is found a statue of St. Amico with a dog beside him with a piece of bread in his mouth]
It is at the Monastery of San Pietro, where according to God's design, his holy body still rest. [Editor's Note: In this year of 1992, St. Amico's stone tomb is found under the altar in the side chapel (Church of St. Amico) of the Church of San Pietro & Paul. I believe, St. Amico's body is in a marbel enclosed Ark (sarcophagus)located under the altar]
(THE GIFT OF PROPHECY)
When the Saint was staying at the monastery of San Pietro, even while residing in his narrow cell, he was intent on doing charitable deeds. Here it was, that he predicted on Christmas night, the death of the renowned Abbot Hugo. (That night), Blessed Amico opened the window (of his cell), and called one of the brethren, a farmer associate, and said, "Brother, take this note to all the brethren, and press them to proceed to the Capitulum (Head Church of the Order), and pray for Abbot Hugo of Farfensi (Farfa) [Abbot Hugue (998-1010). Reformer of the Abbey of Farfa, in Farfense (near Rome)]. At midnight, this lofty pillar of the Church, (Abbot Hugue), will depart from this life." Who would not wonder at your goodness of granting, at all times, the gift of prophesy? In the intimacy of his cell, St. Amico could see, what to eyes are not given, which later would become clear. The brethren of the Monastery of Farfensi, made known to the brethren of the Saint, how they joined in prayer for their dying Abbot. When, they asked of the details (of the Abbot's death), they were exactly as the Saint predicted.
(A LIFE OF PENANCE, FOR THE WORLD)
Amico, before entering the Monastery of San Pietro, had fled from the dangerous contact with men, to lead a solitary life on the hill called Taureno. There, for twenty years his fare (food) was mushrooms and wild berries. Likewise, for forty years he had so emancipated his body by abstinence, that neither bread nor sleep could relieve him (from his sufferings.) How could we describe the extent of his alms-giving, since even what was necessary (for his own sustenance), he gave to the poor. He also observed the custom of the Monastery of San Pietro Avellana, that is, that from the feast of St. Martin (March20th.) to Easter only bread and water he would take. With so little nourishment, it would surely be said, that his actions seemed more angelic than human. On Sundays, the brethren would bring him, in his closed cell, three portions of bread. Content with only one portion, he added the other two portions, to the three that he would receive next (week) receive, and gave them to those (brethren who were) serving the poor.
(FRIEND OF ANGELS)
Twice, the brethren forgot to bring him bread. God, however, who cannot permit his chosen ones to die miserably, sent his Angel with angelic food, and to stay with him until the brethren came to him. After some time, the brethren came to dine and visit with him. The Servant of God looked at them with a very sad expression, because thereby he would lose the Angel's company.
(GOD'S QUICK ANSWER TO THE PRAYER OF HIS HEART)
He was on a customary journey with a disciple and companion named Raterio, from the Monastery of San Pietro. After eating, Amico discovered crumbs in his lap, and jokingly said: "(I) would (wish), that someone could eat these crumbs!" Shortly, small birds came and fulfilled his wish.
(HEALED THE SICK)
Blessed Amico was asked to assist a priest who was seriously ill. Amico prayed to The Lord, and the priest was cured. This priest later presented Amico with, a pair of oxen, a horse, and some forty goats and lambs, along with 15 feet of cloth, in gratitude to The Lord, and to His servant Amico. Amico gave it all, to his companion Raterio, to be donated to the poor.
(A GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE OF SOULS)
Raterio, stung by greed, withheld the (above mentioned) cloth for himself. This fact could not escape Amico, who seeing him later, inquired about the cloth distribution, to whom, and how? "Master," Raterio replied, "all was done as you wished." The Man of God, felt him smiling (with deception), and replied, "now then, about the cloth, did you plan on sewing trousers for yourself?" The man humbly flushed, and throwing himself on his knees before the Holy Man, asked for forgiveness. Having first given him a penance, the Holy Man told him to donate the cloth 5 ft. at a time, (so as to practice almsgiving).
(THE PROTECTION OF GOD)
Among other things, there was a motion (set forth), that for the welfare of the Monastery of Don Pietro - by the venerable Abbot of the same name - that a monastery factory be constructed. Amico, servant of God, left his monastery and came to the spot where Abbot Don Pietro, dwelt with his congregation. Blessed Amico was sitting there by the machinery, when a huge boulder rushed from the hill to where a large group of strong peasants were breaking stones, and the boulder was also (descending) in the path to crush the machinery, and the Servant of God, Amico. But, when the boulder approached the Servant of God, at the astonishment of all, with a mighty bound, (it soared over all) causing no damage, nor injury.
(MIRACLES AFTER AMICO'S DEATH)
A priest, in the territory of Furconensi, unexpectedly and for an unknown reason, suffered with a great hernia. The priest, hearing of the renown of the Holy Man Amico, (set off) with staunch confidence, escaping from his folks, and after struggling 10 days, arrived at the tomb of the Holy Man. With tears in his eyes and prayers, he stormed the mercy of God, and that of the Holy Man. At the cock's crow (early morning), as the monks in the church were praising God, the Holy Man appeared to him in a vision sitting on his tomb saying, "What is the matter, son, why so much lamentation?" The priest replied, "I'm suffering so much with this foul infirmity that I would prefer to die than to live." The Saint said, "show me." Then the Man Of God, now clothed in a white garment, pressed three of his fingers in the wound, and then he disappeared. Soon after, the priest woke up cured and healthy: He thanked God and the Holy Man Amico to whom, with great affection, he attributed his return to glowing health."
["More frequently, the brief life is attributed to Bernardo"**, Cassinese monk Bernard (11th-12th century.]
See my website: www.amico.mysite.com
for the 'Long Biography', and additional information.
Memorial created on the feast of 'All Saints Day', 2013.