Feast date: Nov 14
John Licci is one of the longest living holy men of the Church. His 111 years on this earth in a small town near Palermo, Sicily, were filled with many miracles. His mother died during childbirth, and his father was a poor peasant who had to work the fields, and so was forced to leave John alone as an infant.
One day, a neighbor took the crying baby to her home to feed him. She laid the infant on the bed next to her paralyzed husband, and he was instantly cured.
After receiving the suggestion of Blessed Peter Geremia to enter religious life, John joined the Dominicans in 1415. He wore the habit for 96 years which is the longest known period for any religious.
He was ordained a priest and founded the convent of Saint Zita in his hometown, Caccamo. The entire construction of the convent is a story of miracles, from the location of the site to the very last wooden beam set in place. For example, one day when the workers ran out of materials, a large ox-drawn wagon filled with what they needed arrived at the building site. When roofbeams were cut too short, John would pray over them and they would stretch. There were also days when John miraculously multiplied bread and wine to feed the workers.
When John and two other Dominicans were attacked by bandits on the road, one of the bandits tried to stab John, but his hand withered and became paralyzed. The gang let the brothers go, then decided to ask for their forgiveness. John made the Sign of the Cross over them and the thief’s hand was healed.
His blessings also caused the breadbox of a neighboring widow to stay miraculously full, feeding her and her six children. He prevented disease from coming to the cattle of his parishioners, and cured three people whose heads had been crushed in accidents. Consequently, he is the patron saint of head injuries.
John was born in 1400 and died in 1511 of natural causes.