16 December Sebastian Maggi lived in a colorful and troubled age, the time of Savonarola; he was, in fact, a friend of the friar of Ferrara and always staunchly defended him.
Sebastian entered the Dominican Order as Brescia as soon as he was old enough. His early years were remarkable only for his devotion to the rule, for the purity of his life, and the zeal with which he enforced religious observance. He was superior of several houses of the order, and finally was made vicar of the reformed congregation of Lombardy, which made him the superior of Jerome Savonarola, the dynamic reformer around whom such a tragic storm was brewing.
Perhaps, if Sebastian Maggi had lived, he might have saved Savonarola from the political entanglements that sent him to his death. Sebastian was his confessor for a long time, and always testified in his favor when anyone attacked the reformer’s personal life. It is hard to say just where he stood politically in the long and complex series of events concerning the separation of Lombard province from the province of Italy. But all that has been written of him conveys the same impression: he was a kind and just superior, who kept the rule with rigid care, but was prudent in exacting it of others.
Several times Sebastian Maggi was sent on missions of reform, and he died on one of these. On his way to a convent for visitation, he became ill at Genoa and died there in 1496. His body is incorrupt at the present time (1963) (Benedictines, Dorcy).
Born: 1414 at Brescia, Italy
Died: 1496 at Genoa, Italy of natural causes; body was still incorrupt in 1963
Beatified: April 15,1760 by Pope Clement XIII (cultus confirmed)