172. Domenico Spatafora (1450-1521)

Born in Randazzo, Spatafora was proclaimed Blessed in 1921 by Pope Benedict XV. Second son of the Baron of Maletto, he soon leaves the comforts of his family to serve the Lord and joins the Dominican Order ( Convent of Santa Zita in Palermo). Very successful in religious studies, Spatafora was sent to complete his education first to Perugia, then in Padua and Venice. He returned to Sicily for a brief time as as theology teacher in Messina, but the Father General of the Dominicans quickly took notice of his scholarly talents and decided to transfer him to Rome.

At the same time, the inhabitants of Monte Cerignone (Urbino), wanted to enhance with a church a small chapel containing a miraculous image of the Madonna. They asked for guidance to the Dominicans and the Master General sent Spatafora. After hard work, in 1491 the church and the adjoining convent were completed. Spatafora would lead their management until his death. Revered in life by people of all the surrounding area, Spatafora cured 18 people afflicted by ills considered incurable.

Spatafora died on December 21, 1521 in Monte Cerignone, where after celebrating Mass, called the friars and humbly asked forgiveness for his mistakes. Having given them his blessing, he retired to his cell and died. Buried in the church of the monastery, in 1545 his body was found intact and was moved to the monastery of Monte Cerignone. In 1653, When the monastery was abandoned by the monks, his body was transferred to the nearby church of Santa Maria in Recluso. On January 14, 1921 Pope Benedict XV confirmed worship which is celebrated on the 11th of September 11th.

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