Blessed John Vercelli
Founder of The Holy Name Society, Dominican Friars and Order of Preachers
Feast Day: December 1st
John Garbella was born in the 13th Century in Mosso Santa Maria, a town north of Rome, Italy. He was a brilliant young student who was drawn to religion and was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It became obvious that John had the potential to be a prolific scholar and his family sent him to study in Paris’ schools and eventually, the prestigious Ecole Du Cloitre. Soon he was fluently speaking many languages and teaching at Mount Saint Genevieve, who is now known as the Patron Saint of Paris.
He returned to Vercelli and met Jordan of Saxony, who established the Order of Dominican Friars. John admired Jordan from the onset. Soon John became a Dominican and was fervently preaching devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. Others were less virtuous and espoused heresy, yet John ably advanced the noble cause. He continued rising above the fray and expanded the Dominican base with aplomb.
John traveled extensively with relentless spirit. A young Thomas Aquinas admired John’s fortitude. Later, the Pope commissioned John to effect the devotion of the Holy Name of Jesus. His dedication has legions of followers and the cord, or rope of John’s robe, is still venerated in Vercelli today. We hope to see it someday! © 2019