Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 December – Blessed Sebastian Maggi OP (1414–1496)

Saint of the Day – 16 December – Blessed Sebastian Maggi OP (1414–1496) Religious Priest of the Order of Preachers, Confessor – born in 1414 at Brescia, Italy and died in 1496 at Genoa, Italy of natural causes.   Blessed Sebastian also served as the confessor to both Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498) and Saint Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510).   His body is incorrupt.

Sebastian Maggi was born in Brescia to nobles in 1414.   He is related to Bishop Berardo Maggi who was also the Duke and Count of Brescia.

Maggi began his work in 1429 when he joined the Order of Preachers.   His intelligence was noticed and he later received a master’s degree in theological studies.   He rose through the ranks and became the superior of several religious Dominican houses.   He practised corporal mortification and was strict in discipline.   He would often tell his subordinates: “When you have committed a fault, come to me, not as prior but as your father.   If you will not have me as a father, you will find me a severe judge.”bl sebastian maggi op

He appointed the monk Girolamo Savonarola to the position of novice master and set that famous Florentine friar on his own path to fame.   In his time he was regarded as one of the greatest preachers in the Italian state.

Pope Alexander VI chose Father Maggi to investigate revelations that Savonarola claimed were given to him directly from God.   Savonarola appealed the choice and believed that Sebastian – as Vicar-General of the Lombard Congregation – would be biased and try to take over his recently-emancipated “San Marco” facility in Florence.   Alexander VI, however, had already decided to give the facility back to the Congregation, making Sebastian, Savonarola’s canonical superior.

Perhaps, if Sebastian Maggi had lived, he might have saved Savonarola from the political entanglements that sent him to his death.   Sebastian was his confessor for a long time, and always testified in his favour when anyone attacked the reformer’s personal life.   It is hard to say just where he stood politically in the long and complex series of events concerning the separation of Lombard province from the province of Italy.   But all that has been written of him, conveys the same impression, he was a kind and just superior, who kept the rule with rigid care but was prudent in exacting it of others.

Girolamo_Savonarola
Girolamo Savonarola

Several times Sebastian Maggi was sent on missions of reform and he died on one of these.   On his way to a convent for visitation, he became ill at Genoa and died there in 1496.   He is buried at the Dominican “Santa Maria di Castello” complex in Genoa (see below).1280px-Genova-centro_storico-IMG_1503

History has written of Blessed Sebastian that his greatest virtues were seen in his governing.   As the prior of several convents, Blessed Sebastian often loved to wait on his Dominican sisters and brothers with his own hands and to minister to them when they were ill.   It was commonly said, that when Blessed Sebastian visited the sick, he did so with as much joy as attending a wedding.

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

4 thoughts on “Saint of the Day – 16 December – Blessed Sebastian Maggi OP (1414–1496)

  1. Wow! 😲
    This write-up had me scurrying all over looking for more details behind all the conflict and intrigue.
    Here’s the important take-away. Consecrated life in Christianity is NOT an opportunity for escape from political engagement. On my score card, I’ve given a lot of kudos to St. Sebastian Maggi, O.P., for resolutely and responsibly fielding the ball in his day. Very tricky! 😖
    Thanks for posting. 👍✌️

    Liked by 1 person

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