Key to Umbria: Perugia

Blessed Conrad of Offida (12th December)

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Blessed Conrad of Offida, who was born in  ca. 1240, joined the Franciscan Order when he was about 15 years old and was later ordained as a priest.  He had known Brother Leo before his death in the 1270s, and then became the custodian of his reminiscences about St Francis and his vocation.  He thus became a focus for the dissent of those like-minded friars in the Marches who believed that their Rule should be observed according to the Testament of St Francis: “simply and without gloss” (i.e. without the benefit of learned and legalistic exposition).

A manuscript of the so-called “Verba Fratris Conradi” survives from the early 14th century. The original collection of 12 twelve chapters summarise the reminiscences attributed to Brother Leo.  They are, however, more acrimonious and pessimistic than other works attributed to Leo, reflecting the tenor of the debate about the Franciscan Rule as it developed after his death. 

Conrad approved the decision of Angelo Clareno and his associates to secure the protection of Pope Celestine V.  He probably joined them when they transferred from the Franciscan Order to the new Order of Poor Hemits of Pope Celestine in 1294, so that they could observe what they believed to be the original rule of St Francis in all its purity.  When Boniface VIII suppressed the Celestines shortly thereafter, Conrad returned to the mainstream order.  

Conrad died in 1306 at Isola Romanesca (later called Bastia), where he was preaching a series of sermons during Advent. He was buried the Franciscan church of Santa Croce there

Cult of Blessed Conrad

In 1320, during a war with Assisi, Perugian forces besieged Bastia (in the contado of Assisi).  When it fell to them, they stole the relics of the Blessed Conrad and took them to San Francesco al Prato, Perugia.  They were recorded in an unspecified location in the convent in1399 and in the sacristy in 1566. 

Pope Pius VII beatified the Blessed Conrad in San Francesco al Prato in 1817.

His relics were translated to his native Offida in 1994 and are now in the Collegiata there.