Tag Archives: Dominican saints and blesseds

Blessed Christopher of Milan

God of all truth, you made Blessed Christopher a
faithful herald of your word to the people. By his life and ministry may we
keep Christ ever in our thoughts and in the love of our hearts.

Christopher (early 15th-c.-1484) was known among his Dominican brothers as “holy and abstemious, humble and studious” and having all the ordinary virtues of a good Christian man. His apostolic work included the areas of Milan and Liguria where he drew many souls to Christ due his excellence in preaching.

Pope Pius IX beatified Christopher in 1875.

From an antiphon from First Vespers for Blessed Christopher we pray: Strengthen by holy intercession, O Christopher, confessor of the Lord, those here present, have we who are burdened with the weight of our offenses may be relieved by the glory of thy blessedness, and may by thy guidance attain eternal rewards.

Saint Raymond of Peñafort

St Raymond of Penafort.jpg

O God of mercy, source of grace,
Who draws us all to seek your face,
We give you thanks for this, your saint,
Who served you long without complaint.
As lawyer for the Church, his light
For sinners shone forth, calm and bright,
Friar and Master Gen’ral, he
Sought in his life Christ-like to be.
O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
Let all our hymns of praise addressed
To you, on this Saint Raymond’s day,
Give us all grace to walk your way.
J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications
People joke that heaven has few lawyer saints. And we know that jokes sometimes betray some truth. We have not only a lawyer who’s a saint, but a nobleman, priest, religious, lawyer, editor, author, and a bishop who is a saint. Not bad. Today’s liturgical memorial is a Dominican priest of Spanish nobility with an earned doctorate in canon and civil law. At 41, Raymond of Peñafort entered the Order of Preachers and then called by Pope Gregory IX to Rome to be his confessor and to work on some crucial projects for the Church. He’s known as the editor of papal decrees, author of the famous Summa de casibus poenitentiæ and for 2 years was the archbishop of Tarragona, Spain, before being elected the Master of the Order of Preachers. It is said that he encouraged Saint Thomas Aquinas to write the Summa contra gentiles.

Saint Catherine of Siena: ambassador, woman of holiness & spiritual mother

Pope Benedict spoke in his General Audience today of the great 14th century Dominican sister, Saint Catherine of Siena, holy woman, ambassador, truth-speaker, Doctor of the Church and spiritual mother. His choice of saint could not have been better since the presence of many of the new cardinals were in attendance. Rome Reports provides a brief video clip on the papal address.

St Catherine of Siena PGiovanni.jpg

Today I would
like to speak to you about a woman who has had an eminent role in the history
of the Church. She is St. Catherine of Siena. The century in which she lived —
the 14th — was a troubled time for the life of the Church and for the
whole social fabric in Italy and Europe.

However, even in
the moments of greatest difficulty, the Lord does not cease to bless his
People, raising men and women saints who stir minds and hearts, bringing about
conversion and renewal. Catherine is one of these and still today she speaks to
us and pushes us to walk courageously toward sanctity to be disciples of
the Lord in an ever fuller sense.

Born in Siena in 1347 to a very numerous
family, she died in her native city in 1380. At 16, moved by a vision of St.
Dominic, she entered the Dominican Third Order, in the feminine branch called
the Mantellate. She stayed with her family and confirmed the vow of virginity
she made privately when she was still an adolescent; she dedicated herself to
prayer, penance, and works of charity, above all for the benefit of the sick

her fame for sanctity spread, she became the protagonist in an intense activity
of spiritual counsel, dealing with all categories of persons: nobles and
politicians, artists and ordinary people, consecrated persons, ecclesiastics,
and including Pope Gregory XI, who at that time resided in Avignon and whom
Catherine exhorted energetically and effectively to return to Rome. She
traveled a lot to solicit the interior reform of the Church and to foster peace
between states. For this reason also the Venerable John Paul II declared her
co-patroness of Europe: so that the Old World would never forget its Christian
roots that are at the base of its journey and continue to draw from the Gospel
the fundamental values that ensure justice and concord.

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Saint Albert the Great

Albertus Magnus 1969 Artus Quellinus.jpgThe learned will shine like the brilliance of the firmament, and those who train many in the ways of justice will sparkle like the stars for all eternity. (ent. ant.)

God of truth, You endowed our brother Albert with the gift of combining human wisdom with divine faith. May the pursuit of all human knowledge lead to a greater knowledge and love of You.
History is a Catholic “thing”: the Middle Ages weren’t so intellectually dark as some people say. Proof of this thesis is the presence of the Dominican priest, bishop, natural scientist and philosopher Albert the Great (1200-80). He was a known authority on the sciences and he posited that the earth was a sphere 200 years before Columbus “discovered” America. He also theorized that weather is determined by a person’s latitude. All of this information is taken for granted today but in the 13th century this was truly new information, revolutionary, in fact.

He abandoned his family’s station in life, studied at the University of Padua, joined the brand new Order of Friars Preachers, studied at Paris, and was an interested party promoting Aristotle. Albert was the superior of one of the houses of studies where the young Thomas Aquinas lived and is credited for setting Thomas on his way to be an intellectual giant. In 1254, Albert was elected the Prior Provincial of the German Province of Dominicans and in 1260 Pope Alexander IV nominated Albert the Bishop of Regensburg.  He was prodigious author (at least 40 volumes of thought) to the point that Albert’s contemporaries called him the universal doctor and the Church bestowed the title of Doctor of the Church.
Albert was canonized in 1931.

Blessed Lucy Brocadelli of Narni

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God of holiness, You wonderfully adorned Blessed Lucy with the marks of the passion of Your and with the gifts of virginity and patience. With the help of her prayers may we never be conquered by adversity or the allurements of the world.

The collect for the Mass noted above speaks of volumes of this beautiful woman. Blessed Lucy was born in 1476, died in 1544 and beatified in 1710. She was a stigmatist, that is, she bore the wounds of Christ’s in her body. A review of Blessed Lucy’s life is noted here and more can be found here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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