BENEDICT (Saint) (April 3) (16th century) Surnamed the “Black,” or the Negro. He was born (A.D. 1526) of negro parents at a village near Messina in Sicily. His father and mother were slaves; but he was made a freeman. An Order of Hermits which he had joined being suppressed by Pope Pius IV, he entered a convent of Franciscan Friars at Palermo, and, though only a lay-brother, was, on account of his eminent holiness of life, elected Guardian or Superior and Master of Novices. He died April 4, 1589, and many years afterwards, when his coffin was opened, his remains were found incorrupt. He was beatified A.D. 1743, and canonised A.D. 1807.