Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (1233)
Can you imagine seven prominent men of any great city banding together, leaving their homes and professions and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the 13th century. The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari, who believed that physical reality was inherently evil. Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless. In 1240, seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God. Community members combined monastic life and active ministry. In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.
Since criminals and people with evil purposes often band together for their common interests, good people often have to do the same. Faced with the immorality and blood feuds of thirteenth century Florence, the Seven Holy Founders banded together for their own spiritual good and succeeded in founding a whole new religious order. Good companions are on of the most powerful helps toward a holy life, for all of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centred in Christ. In this new day, we often find those ‘good companions’ online, let us too band together and live a holy life amidst the dangers around us!
Seven Holy Founders, Pray for us!