Saint Íñigo of Oña
Jul 06, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast June 1
Íñigo was born in the eleventh century and was reportedly a native of Bilbao in northern Spain. Early in life he was drawn to a life of solitude and left to become a hermit.
Later, he traveled to Aragon where he received the religious habit of a monk at San Juan de Peña, eventually being elected Prior. His term completed, Íñigo was again drawn to the hermit’s “desert” and he resumed his hermetical life in the mountains of Aragon.
However, in 1029, King Sancho the Great sought out and was able to convince Íñigo to become the Abbot of a group of monks in a monastery at Oña. The monastery, founded by Sancho's father-in-law, was in need of reform, and he wanted Íñigo to lead the process.
The choice proved an excellent one. Under his ministration, the abbey grew rapidly in numbers and sanctity. Íñigo’s influenced extended far beyond the monastery walls though. He brought unity and accord to communities and individuals who had long been at bitter variance, and he tamed men of violent passions. When a severe drought threatened a total crop failure, God listened to the prayers of Íñigo and let the rains fall in abundance. On another occasion, he is said to have fed a great multitude with three loaves of bread.
He was two leagues from the abbey when he was seized with the malady which was to claim his life. He was carried home, and upon his arrival he asked that refreshments should be provided for the two young boys who had escorted the party with torches, but no one else had seen the boys. It is thought that they must have been angels that only Íñigo could see.
He died on June 1, 1057, and was canonized by Pope Alexander III about a century later.