Isaac of Monteluco

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Our venerable and God-bearing father Isaac of Monteluco, also (Italian: Sant' Isacco), was a sixth century monk and saint who was among a group monastics that fled to Italy from Syria to escape persecutions by the Monophysite hierarchy. Isaac was noted for his ascetic and pious life and spirit of prophecy. His feast day is April 11.

Life

Other than that he was a monk from Syria, little is known of the early life of Isaac. He was probably one of the number of monastics who fled Syria about the year 519 during a wave of persecution by Monophysite hierarchy in Syria. When Isaac arrived in Spoleto in Italy he spent three days and nights praying in one of the churches of the community. After one of the caretakers of the church became possessed after abusing him, Isaac banished the evil spirit from the man. Soon after his exorcism Isaac began to attract followers.

With his increased popularity, he received offers of land on which his followers wanted him to establish a monastery. Isaac, however, chose a deserted place where he built a small hermitage at Monteluco near Spoleto that was the foundation of the monastery of San Giuliano of which, in 528, he became the first abbot. His followers continued to beg him to accept money, which he turned away, saying, "A monk who seeks a living upon earth is no monk". His ascetic life style placed him as one of the restorers of ascetic monasticism in Italy. He reposed about the year 550.

The only source of information concerning the life of St. Isaac is that in the Dialogues of Gregory the Dialogist, Pope of Rome. Among Pope Gregory's sources was one Gregoria, a noble woman whom St. Isaac helped become a nun. According to tradition, it was Gregoria who gave the land to Isaac for his hermitage that became the Monastery of San Giuliano.

The relics of St. Isaac were preserved originally in the crypt of San Giuliano. In 1502, the relics were translated to Sant'Ansano where now they are in the Crypt of Sant' Isacco.

Sources

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