Blessed Gratia distinguished himself by his humility, work, spirit of
penitence, and love of the eucharist.
second half of the fourteenth century saw the emergence of a great spirit
of reform in the Augustinian Order as well as in many other religious congregations.
Friars committed to an enthusiastic observance of religious life in perfect
fidelity to the Rule and Constitutions, of shunning every
abuse and opportunity for compromise, were authorized to live in specially
designated “observant” communities under the immediate authority
of the prior general and his appointed vicar. Eleven distinct congregations
of observant monasteries were formed during this period. Gratia entered
one of these congregations, centered at Monte Ortone, near Padua, in 1468.
Gratia was born in 1438 in the town of Mulla near Kotor (Cattaro) on
the Dalmatian coast in former Yugoslavia. Fifteen years earlier Kotor had
submitted to Venetian rule and become a busy and prosperous seaport. Gratia
was a sailor whose work brought him to Venice where, on a certain occasion,
he was so deeply moved by the preaching of the Augustinian friar, Simon
of Camerino, a distinguished speaker and leader of the Augustinian Observant
Movement, that he decided to join the Augustinian Order as a lay brother.
He was thirty years old. In his forty years of religious life Gratia distinguished
himself by his virtues and love of the eucharist.
After many years at Monte Ortone, where he devoted his time and energy
to the service of his brethren, principally in the monastery garden, he
was transferred to the monastery of San Cristoforo near Venice, where he
died on 8 November 1508.
Four centuries later he is still venerated by his countrymen in Kotor,
and especially in his hometown of Mulla, where his body has been kept in
the parish church since 1810.
His feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 7 November.