Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 26 | Forgiveness (Pt. 2)

Saint Anthelm of Belley

A.D. 1107–1178

There is no path forward without forgiveness. 

Even if we know that, forgiving is still one of the hardest things to do in this life. And the more you love someone, and the more that person hurts you, the harder it is to forgive. 

Humans struggle to forgive. It’s easy to say the words, “I forgive you,” but then we have to live them. There are times when we are certain that we have forgiven someone, but then we discover another piece of shrapnel in our heart and find ourselves needing to forgive again, in new and deeper ways. 

When Saint Anthelm of Belley was on his deathbed he experienced the hardest moment of forgiveness in his life.

Anthelm was born in modern-day France in 1107. After many years as a monk and administrator, he was made the Bishop of Belley, a major French city. 

Anthelm was uncompromising in his approach to cleaning out corruption and holding the city’s elite to account. He pressed his priests to do the same. In response, the ruler of the region, Count Humbert, kidnapped a priest as a warning. Another priest tried to rescue him, and Humbert had him murdered.

Anthelm excommunicated Humbert. When Humbert seemed to repent for his actions, Anthelm refused to accept him back into the Church. It was ultimately the Pope who reversed the excommunication.

Many years later, when Anthelm was on his deathbed, something still lay unresolved in his heart. Anthelm didn’t know what it was—until Humbert appeared and apologized. He repented, and this time Saint Anthelm of Belley saw something different in Humbert. He saw someone he needed to forgive. And that is what he did.

​Who do you need to forgive? It’s okay if you are not there yet. But remember, there is no path forward without forgiveness. 

Here is a prayer to God for helping us forgive.

Spirit of God,

At this time,

I am unable or unwilling to forgive.

I know not which.

Fill me with the wisdom of forgiveness. 

Bring me to the beautiful truth that forgiving others is part of my own healing. 

Cleanse me of the poison of unforgiveness.

Shine light so I can see how unforgiveness

affects my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Today, 

I am unable or unwilling to forgive. I know not which.

Just give me the desire to forgive. Just the desire. 

This is all I ask today.

Give me the desire to forgive.

For I know, trust, and believe,

that if you place the desire to forgive firmly in my heart,

that desire will grow,

and the day will come

when I am both willing and able to forgive. 



God, help me to forgive.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Mountaineers and Pilgrims

Feast Day: June 26

Feast Day Shared By: Saints John and Paul, and Saint Josemaria Escrivá

Canonized: 1368

Canonized By: Pope Urban V

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