Monday, March 27, 2006
Torello was born in Tuscany in Italy. His life as a child in the village was ordinary and normal. After his father's death, he was left with a small fortune and made the wrong kind of friends. They were boys who drank and wasted their time instead of working. Torello liked his new friends and tried hard to please them.
Then while he was playing sport one day, a rooster flew down from its roost. It landed on Torello's arm and crowed three times, long and loud. Torello was speechless and walked away without finishing the game. He knew he was being warned, just as St. Peter had once been warned that his foolish way of life was leading him away from Jesus.
Torello made up his mind then and there to change his life. He went to see the abbot of San Fedele who helped him make a good confession. Then Torello went out to a quiet place in the forest and chose a spot near a big tree where he spent eight days in prayer. At the end of that time he decided that he would be a hermit.
He went back to Poppi and sold all his property. He kept only enough money to buy the small square plot of land around the big tree he had found in the woods. Next to that tree he built a little shack where he spent the rest of his life. He grew his own vegetables for food and got water from the stream. He prayed and performed penances, the hardest of which was sleeping only three hours a night.
Being a hermit Torello felt close to God and he spent fifty years of his life in peace with God. While he was alive, only one friend knew of Torello's hidden life as a hermit in the forest. Blessed Torello died at the age of eighty in 1282. We remember him on March 16th.