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Blessed Ayrald

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Roman Calendar: Janurary 2
Carthusian Calendar: October 13

Also known as : Ayraldo, Ayraldus

Born to noble parents in Southeastern France toward the end of the eleventh century; died in 1146. Ayrald spurned his wealthy background and entered still young at the Charterhouse of Portes. It was said that no one could meet him without being attracted by his kindness, humility and obedience. Eventually the community elected him Prior.
 
The town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne needed a new Bishop and requested Dom Ayrald, the renown of whose virtue had reached them. he recoiled, but the Pope and the secular overlord, the count of Savoy, insisted and thus he became Bishop of Maurienne 1132-1146.
 
As Bishop, Ayrald was very faithful to his pastoral duties and suceeded to combine fidelity to his Carthusian monasticism with his new episcopal duties. He always wore his hairshirt and his white woolen habit and above all, he preserved a spirit of silence and solitude in the midst of the many concerns that administration of a diocese brings with it. whenever possible, he would return to spend a few days at Portes, to give himself to prayer and fasting. Ayrald was also an ardent defender of the rights of the Church before the powerful secular leaders.
 
At Ayrald's funeral several miraculous cure occured. More miracles took place in the centuries that followed. In 1863 Pope Pius IX approved the religious veneration since time immemorial of "Blessed Ayrals, Bishop of Maurienne."

Image: Santi Certosini

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