Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest, to become a priest. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 an epidemic, that devastated his town, took even his uncle's life. He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament.