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Observations placeholder

Blessed Giovanni Buono - Firewalks



Type of Spiritual Experience


Friar Herbert Thurston was a Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order and an historian.  He wrote extensively on Catholic mysticism and psychic phenomena and was a member of the Society for Psychical Research.  He was also widely read on this subject.  He is described as ‘an honest skeptic’., and once said ‘the role of Devil’s advocate is a thankless one and does not make for popularity’.

A description of the experience

Friar Herbert Thurston - The Physical Phenomenon of Mysticism

Now let us turn to a well authenticated case ..which M. Leroy has extracted from the life of the Augustinian hermit, Blessed Giovanni Buono-whether Buono was his family name or only a sobriquet (John the Good) does not seem to be quite clear. We happen, by good fortune, to possess a copy of the evidence given by the witnesses in the cause of his beatification in 1251, two years after his death. First amongst these we have the testimony of one Father Salveti, who tells us how a Brother, named Jachim, was violently tempted to give up his vocation and to leave the Order. It happened, however, one cold day in winter, when a number of the brethren were gathered round a great fire, that John Buono began to hold forth upon the supreme importance of being faithful to one's religious profession. They ought, he said, to fear nothing, neither cold, nor heat, nor hardships, nor tribulations, being assured that God would always come to their aid when help was really needed.

And saying this [the witness went on] John suddenly rose up and stepping into the fire he began to shuffle the embers about with his feet just as if they were water, and there he remained standing for as long a time as it would take to say the Miserere half way through.

Then, quitting the fire, he went back to his cell and sent for Brother Matthew as well as for this deponent and two other brothers of the same Order whose names he has forgotten. He told them that they must be the friends of God and love Him dearly; but since this deponent was convinced that Brother John Buono had suffered hurt from the said embers, he purposely carne close to the same John that he might the better examine and observe whether any damage had been done to his feet or his legs or his tunic, but, though he scrutinized them narrowly, he saw no trace of burning or of any injury.

The source of the experience

Other religious person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Fire walking

Activities and commonsteps



Believing in the spiritual world