Saint of the Day – 21 September – Blessed Mark Scalabrini of Modena OP (c 1420-1498) Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers, Prior, miracle-worker. Born in c 1420 in Mocogna, Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy and died on 21 September 1498 in Pesaro, Italy of natural causes.
Mark was born in Modena and entered the Convent of the Dominican Order there in young manhood. He observed the Rules with great fidelity and became noted, both for his learning and his holiness. However, when we recall the times in which he lived , it becomes clearer to us that anyone who kept the Dominican Rule in its entirety, is truly deserving of our notice . The abuses which stirred Savonarola to thundering speech in the pulpits of Ferrara and Florence could not have been absent from all of Italy. It took solid virtue to hold out against the opulent worldliness of the times and Mark of Modena apparently did a thorough job of it, since he has been Beatified.
Mark was made Prior of the Convent of Pesaro and the only miracle we have on record (he is believed to have performed many) took place at his convent. A little boy had died and the mother pleaded with Mark to restore the child’s life. After praying for awhile, Mark turned to her and said, “Madam, your young boy is in paradise. Do not try to get him back again, for his second loss will be worse than this one.” However, she insisted on his working the miracle and he did so. The child returned to life and, ten years later, covered with disgrace and public censure arising from shameful conduct, died a second time, leaving his mother in more sorrowful grief than ever.
Mark of Modena died in 1498, the year that the City of Florence burned Savonarola at the stake. It was a time of terrible happenings in Italy and all Europe. The people of Modena mourned the death of Mark and went to pray at his tomb. Many of their needs were answered there and a number of miracles were reported and again when his relics were translated to the Rosary Chapel of the Church. His relics were again transferred in 1949, to the Dominican Church in Modena. The bells were said to have rung by themselves and sweet perfume filled the air. His relics are still exposed annually for veneration during the week of Pentecost. Blessed Mark was Beatified on 10 September 1857 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.