Corrado Confalonieri (Saint) was a typical man of the middle age. He loved hunting in the area around his property near Piacenza, where he was born, in Calendasco castle in 1290.
He came from a Guelf noble militia family, at the service of the bishop of Piacenza, they got in exchange of their service some properties in Calendasco, through the ground rent and the ones along to the Po river. In 1315 during an hunting expedition in a really hot June, Corrado decided to burn some bushes to flush out some animals. Unfortunately the fire spred quickly to the forests around, damaging some farmhouses and stalls. The damage was really big for that time and the lord Visconti, who was the enemy of the bishop, had a poor farmer arrested.
At that moment the most important fact happened to Corrado: he shown off to Galeazzo Visconti and he admitted his guilt!
The fact of being a nobleman saved him his life, but at the same time he had to compensate for the damage. Because of this, all of his land properties were confiscated.
This event had a deep impact on his life, in the years after getting closer and closer to the belief. Because of this event, Corrado in agreement with his wife Giovannina, decided to devote himself as a Franciscan monk and his wife as a poor clarissa nun.
During the experience of his faith, he took the decision to leave Piacenza and all of his material items, devolving his whole soul and energies to the eternal world.
After Assisi, Rome and probably the Holy Land, he arrived in Sicily to Noto, in 1343. At that time he was already a monk of the third order, with a lot of experiences and skills, he started his hermit life, living in a cave located in the Valley around Noto.
He became quicly well known doing many miracles, like the healing of the kid with hernia and the constant donation of warm bread to all the persons who decided to get rid of everything, visiting him.
Corrado died inside of the cave on the 19th February 1351, to the side of his confessor.
The story about Corrado Confalonieri Saint
The story tells about his passing, happened on his knees in prayer, his eyes turned to the sky, he kept the same position even after his death, while a sun beam was entering the Pizzoni cave.
He was buried in the Church of Saint Nicolò in Noto, according to his will. After some years the reliquia of Saint Corrado Confalonieri was moved to the Noto Cathedral, where he’s still revered since many centuries.
Immediately the people of Noto started to have worship and recognise him as a Saint. After the grant of his beatification in 1515, the pope Urbano VIII gave the complete veneration of Corrado as a Saint of the Franciscan Order all over the world.
What to see
Three important places for the worship of the Saint are located in Calendasco.
As first the little hospitio monastery, which represented a shelter for pilgrims going to the wading of the Po river in Soprarivo village.
The castle, which was built during the XIII century, where precisely Corrado was born, on the 9th August 1617.
The church where it’s assumed he was baptized.
Corrado Confalonieri became The Patron Saint of Calendasco in 1617.
Inside of the Church of Calendasco, a painting is still preserved, by an unknow artist from the XVII century, which represents Corrado Confalonieri wearing the Francescan cloth during his conversion, inside of the the shrine titled “gorgolare” and the relic of his thumb of his left hand.
In the church there’s a big altar piece from the 1750, which represents the Patron of the Village and two relics. They were donated in 1907 and in 1927 by the Bishop of Noto to Calendasco to highlight the veneration of the faithful.
In Noto the processions devoted to the Patron take place twice a year. On the 19th of February and the last Sunday of August.
Since 1485, the body of the Saint is kept in a wonderful silver urn in Noto. The shrine of Corrado is located in the valley surrounding Noto, it still includes the cave of the heremit.
It’s a stark rock cave, where actually he lived in prayer and contemplation.
Inside the shrine of the Saint, there is a Museum too, where some votive objects for received graces are exposed; between them some artificial limbs: concrete witnesses of the continuing grace of the Saint received by the faithful.