Augustine of Tarano was an example of humility for all who knew him.
Augustine of Tarano, known also as Augustine Novello, was born near Rieti,
After completing studies in both civil and canon law at the University
of Bologna, Augustine became prefect in the court of King Manfred of Sicily.
During a battle at Benevento in which the king was killed, Augustine resolved
to enter religious life and joined the Augustinians as a lay brother, keeping
his profession and former social status secret. His identity was revealed,
however, when his community became involved in a property dispute with the
local bishop, and the Augustinian Order’s lawyer recognized Augustine
as a former colleague.
When Clement of Osimo, the prior general, learned of Augustine’s
background he had him ordained a priest, brought him to Rome to work on
the Augustinian Order’s Constitutions, and nominated him penitentiary
in the Roman Curia.
Augustine was elected prior general in 1298. Despite his attempts to
refuse this position he was ordered by the pope to accept. In 1300 he resigned
from office and spent the remaining ten years of his life at the hermitage
of San Leonardo al Lago. There he ministered to the people of the surrounding
villages as well as in nearby Siena. He played an important role in the
founding of Siena’s hospital of Santa Maria della Scala and composed
a set of guidelines for the hospital community. He died on 19 May in 1309
or 1310. His remains, kept for a long time in the church of Sant’Agostino
in Siena, are now preserved at Termini Imerese in Sicily.
The Augustinian Family commemorates him together with Clement of Osimo
on 19 May.