It was at the hermitage (eremo) in Rosia* that was discovered the "hidden talent" of Augustine of Tarano.
From there he eventually went on to become an Augustinian Prior_General and to be proposed for declaration as a saint.
There are sufficient written records to allow what happened to be taken as fact, and not just as legend.
He was given the birth name of Matthew. He was probably born at Tarano (near Rieti and not far north of Rome, Italy), although one document about him during his life suggested he was born in Taormina, Sicily.
He studied civil and church law at the University of Bologna, where he then became a professor of law, and then the supreme judge of the court of King Manfred of Sicily, and papal penitentiary.
When the king was killed in the Battle of Benevento in 1266, Matthew was wounded, and left for dead on the battlefield.
He made a vow that if he recovered he would begin a new life.
He apparently then joined the Order of Saint Augustine under the name of Agostino Novello ("Augustine the new").
Not revealing all of his educational background, he wish to serve within the Order of Saint Augustine as a lay brother involved in manual work.
Within the Order he moved from Sicily to the Augustinian hermitage (eremo) of Santa Lucia at Rosia in the province of Siena.
( * For the photo gallery of Rosia in Augnet, select Italy: Rosia after you click here.)
While stationed at Rosia, the community was having a conflict with the Bishop of Siena about jurisdiction over some property.
Augustine wrote the Augustinian version of the case, and one of the lawyers of the bishop requested to meet the person who had written it.
It so happened that this lawyer had studied with Augustine at Bolonga and worked with him the service of the king in Sicily.
The man immediately recognised his former associate. Although Augustine asked him not to do so, the secretary told everyone about his "find."
The Prior General of the day, Clement of Osimo O.S.A., heard of this.
He commanded Augustine to become a priest, and brought him to Rome to work on the Augustinian Constitutions.
(Continued on the next page.)