Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 March – Blessed Sibyllina Biscossi OP (1287-1367)

Saint of the Day – 19 March – Blessed Sibyllina Biscossi (1287-1367) OP Blind Dominican Virgin and Recluse, Penitent, Miracle-worker – also known as Sibyllina of Pavia, Sybil – Additional Memorials – 20 March (Pavia, Italy) and 23 March (Order of Preachers). Patronages – Children whose parents are not married, illegitimacy, loss of parents.   Her body is incorrupt. bl sybellina maybe

The Roman Martyrology says of her – In Pavia, in Lombardy, Blessed Sibyllina Biscossi, Virgin, who became blind at the age of twelve, spent sixty-five years imprisoned alongside the Church of the Order of Preachers, shining with its interior light many who flocked to it.

“All things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).   How many of us would have the faith to trust in God’s providence as did this holy woman?   As Mother Angelica has witnessed, true faith is knowing that when the Lord asks you to walk into the void, He will place a rock beneath your feet.   True faith is to be able to praise God in all things, to say with Job, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.   Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Sybillina’s parents died when she was tiny and as soon as she was old enough to be of use to anyone, the neighbours, who had taken her in at the time she was orphaned, put her out to work.   She must have been very young when she started to work, because at the age of 12, when she became blind and could not work any more, she already had several years of work behind her.

The cause of her blindness is unknown but the child was left doubly destitute with the loss of her sight.   The local chapter of the Dominican tertiary sisters took compassion on the child and brought her home to live with them.   After a little while of experiencing their kind help, she wanted to join them.   They accepted her, young though she was, more out of pity than in any hope of her being able to carry on their busy and varied apostolate.

They were soon agreeably surprised to find out how much she could do.   She learned to chant the Office quickly and sweetly and to absorb their teaching about mental prayer as though she had been born for it.   She imposed great obligations of prayer on herself, since she could not help them in other ways.   Her greatest devotion was to Saint Dominic and it was to him she addressed herself when she finally became convinced that she simply must have her sight back so that she could help the sisters with their work.dominican nuns for bl sybellina

Praying earnestly for this intention, Sybillina waited for his feast day.   Then, she was certain, he would cure her.   Matins came and went with no miracle, little hours, Vespers– and she was still blind.   With a sinking heart, Sybillina knelt before Saint Dominic’s statue and begged him to help her.   Kneeling there, she was rapt in ecstasy and she saw him come out of the darkness and take her by the hand.

He took her to a dark tunnel entrance and she went into the blackness at his word. Terrified but still clinging to his hand, she advanced past invisible horrors, still guided and protected by his presence.   Dawn came gradually and then light, then a blaze of glory.   “In eternity, dear child,” he said. “Here, you must suffer darkness so that you may one day behold eternal light.”

Sybillina, the eager child, was replaced by a mature and thoughtful Sybillina who knew that there would be no cure for her, that she must work her way to heaven through the darkness.   She decided to become a anchorite and obtained the necessary permission.   In 1302, at the age of 15, she was sealed into a tiny cell next to the Dominican church at Pavia.   At first she had a companion but her fellow recluse soon gave up the life. Sybillina remained, now alone, as well as blind.

The first seven years were the worst, she later admitted.   The cold was intense and she never permitted herself a fire.   The church, of course, was not heated and she wore the same clothes winter and summer.   In the winter there was only one way to keep from freezing–keep moving–so she genuflected and gave herself the discipline.   She slept on a board and ate practically nothing.   To the tiny window, that was her only communication with the outside world, came the troubled and the sinful and the sick, all begging for her help.   She prayed for all of them and worked many miracles in the lives of the people of Pavia.

One of the more amusing requests came from a woman who was terrified of the dark. Sybillina was praying for her when she saw her in a vision and observed that the woman–who thought she was hearing things–put on a fur hood to shut out the noise. The next day the woman came to see her and Sybillina laughed gaily. “You were really scared last night, weren’t you?” she asked. “I laughed when I saw you pull that hood over your ears.”   The legend reports that the woman was never frightened again.

Sybillina had a lively sense of the Real Presence and a deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.   One day a priest was going past her window with Viaticum for the sick, she knew that the host was not consecrated and told him so.   He investigated and found he had indeed taken a host from the wrong container.

Sybillina lived as a recluse for 65 years.   She followed all the Masses and Offices in the church, spending what few spare minutes she had working with her hands to earn a few alms for the poor.

She is buried in the Dominican church in Pavia

Her cultus was confirmed in 1853 by Pope Pius IX and she was Beatified by him on 17 August 1854.

From the General Calendar of the Order of Preachers on her Feast Day:

Let us Pray:
O God, who wast pleased to enlighten the soul of Blessed Sibyllina, Thy Virgin , with admirable splendour, though she was deprived of bodily sight, grant, through her intercession, that, enlightened with light from above, we may despise earthly things and earnestly strive after those that are eternal.   Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, enkindle our hearts with the fire of the Spirit, who wonderfully renewed Blessed Sibyllina.   Filled with that heavenly light may we come to know Jesus Christ crucified and always grow in Your love.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever.all dominican saints pray for us 7 nov 2019


Quote of the Day – 24 February – ‘The secret of peace and happiness …’

Quote of the Day – 24 February – The Memorial of Blessed Ascensión of the Heart of Jesus OP (1868-1940)

“The secret of peace and happiness,
is found in one’s self-denial,
in emptying oneself
and letting everything
be filled by God’s love.”

Blessed Ascensión of the Heart of Jesus (1868-1940)

the secret of peace and happiness bl ascension of the heart of jesus 24 feb 2020

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 24 February – Blessed Ascensión of the Heart of Jesus OP (1868-1940)

Saint of the Day – 24 February – Blessed Ascensión of the Heart of Jesus OP (1868-1940)
a Spanish Religious sister of the Order of St Dominic, Teacher, Missionary.   She co-founded and was the first Prioress General of the Congregation of Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary, which she helped to found in Peru.   Born as Florentina Nicol y Goni on 14 March 1868 in Tafalla, Navarre, Spain and died on 24 February 1940 in Peru of natural causes.   Also known as Maria Ascension Nicol y Goñi, Mother Ascension del Corazon de Jesus, Mother Ascensión Nicol Goñi, Florentina Nicol Goni.  Patronage- Dominican Missionary Sisters of the ascensin-nicol-y-goi-1a7c0c93-b903-460c-9a63-ba5423478f8-resize-750

Florentina was the youngest of four children.   She was educated at Saint Rose of Lima Dominican boarding school in Huesca, where she was first introduced to the religious life, which raised questions in her mind about her future.   Returning home for a year to reflect on her choices, she later returned to the monastery and became a nun of the Dominican Second Order in 1885, taking the name “Maria Ascension of the Heart of Jesus”.   She became a teacher at that school in 1886 and served in that capacity for the next 27 years.   Under the anti-clerical laws promulgated in the early 20th century, however, in 1913 the Spanish government took over the school and expelled the Sisters.

Bl. Ascensión of the Heart of Jesus is one of the great missionaries of the last century. From her youth, she viewed life as a gift for the Lord and for her neighbour and she wanted to marry no-one except God, to whom she consecrated herself as a Dominican Missionary Sister at the monastery of St Rose in Huesca, Spain.   She lived unreservedly the dynamism of charity which the Holy Spirit generates in those who are open to Him in their hearts.

The first part of her apostolate consisted of being a teacher in the school connected to the monastery.   Testimonials recall her as an excellent educator, amiable and strong, understanding and exacting.

But the Lord had different plans in store for her.   At age 45, he called her to become a missionary in Peru.   With youthful enthusiasm and total trust in Providence, she left her Country and dedicated herself to the evangelisation of the world, beginning on the American Continent.  Her work was so generous, vast and efficacious that it left a profound mark on the missionary history of the Church.

She collaborated with the Dominican Bishop, Ramon Zubieta, in founding the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary, of which she was the first Superior General.   Her missionary life was rich in sacrifices, hardships and apostolic fruits.   She made many apostolic trips to Peru, to Europe and she even went to China.   She had the temperament of an intrepid and tireless fighter, together with a maternal tenderness that was capable of conquering hearts.   Driven by charity for Christ, she showed to all, the charisms of spiritual motherhood.

Sustained by a living faith and by a fervent devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to Our Lady of the Rosary, she dedicated herself to the salvation of souls, even to the sacrifice of her very self.   And she frequently urged her Daughters to do the same, saying that souls are not saved without sacrificing themselves.   She inspired an ever more pure and intense charity and for this, she offered herself as a victim to the Merciful Love of God.

She also established her congregation in Spain where they were able to recruit and form many missionary vocations.   The General Motherhouse of the congregation was established in Pamplona, Navarre, Spain, and became her Ascensión_Nicol_Goñi

By 1938 Mother Ascension felt increasingly frail and wanted to retire to prepare herself for her final days.   Nevertheless, she accepted her unanimous re-election for a third term as Prioress General at the congregation’s General Chapter of 1939.   She died on 24 February 1940.

Today the congregation has 785 Sisters serving in 21 nations on five continents.  It’s General Motherhouse is now in Madrid, Spain.   Among its members, the congregation counts four Sisters who are considered to be martyrs for the faith, having been tortured and murdered in the former Republic of the Congo on 25 November 1964, in the course of the Simba Rebellion, after they refused to leave the patients in their hospital.

She was Beatified on 14 May 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.   The Recognition Celebration was celebrated by Cardinal Saraiva Martins in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Memorials of the Saints – 24 February

St Adela of Blois
Bl Antonio Taglia
Bl Arnold of Carcassonne
St Betto of Auxerre
Bl Berta of Busano
Bl Constantius of Fabriano OP (1401-1481)
St Cummian Albus of Iona
St Ethelbert of Kent
Evetius of Nicomedia
Blessed Ascensión of the Heart of Jesus/Florentina Nicol y Goñi OP (1868-1940)
Bl Ida of Hohenfels
Bl Josefa Naval Girbes
St Liudhard
Bl Lotario Arnari
Bl Marco De’ Marconi
St Modestus of Trier
St Peter the Librarian
St Praetextatus of Rouen
St Primitiva
St Sergius of Caesarea
Bl Simon of Saint Bertin
Blessed Tommaso Maria Fusco (1831-1891)

Blessed Tommaso;s life:


Memorials of the Saints – 18 February

St Esuperia of Vercelli
St Ethelina
St Flavian (Died 449) Archbishop Martyr

St Francis Regis Clet CM (1748-1820) Priest, Martyr

Bl John of Fiesole/Fra Angelico OP – The Angelic Friar Giovanni (1387-1455)
The Artist:

St Gertrude Caterina Comensoli
St Helladius of Toledo
St Ioannes Chen Xianheng
St Ioannes Zhang Tianshen
St Jean-François-Régis Clet
St Jean-Pierre Néel
Bl Jerzy Kaszyra
Bl John Pibush – one of the Martyrs of Douai
St Leo of Patera
St Martinus Wu Xuesheng
Bl Matthew Malaventino
St Paregorius of Patara
St Sadoth of Seleucia
St Simeon
St Tarasius of Constantinople
St Theotonius
Bl William Harrington

Martyrs of North Africa – 7 saints: Group of Christians who were martyred together, date unknown. We know nothing else but seven of their names – Classicus, Fructulus, Lucius, Maximus, Rutulus, Secundinus and Silvanus.
They were born and martyred in North Africa.

Martyrs of Rome – 5 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know nothing else but their names – Alexander, Claudius, Cutias, Maximus and Praepedigna. They were martyred in 295 in Rome, Italy.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 February – Blessed Nicola Paglia OP (1197-1256)

Saint of the Day – 16 February – Blessed Nicola Paglia OP (1197-1256) Priest of the Order of Preachers – Dominicans – born in 1197 in Giovanazzo, Bari, Italy and died aged 58 on 16 February 1256 at Perugia, Italy.   From his hometown Giovinazzo went to Bologna to study.   Here he was drawn to the Order by the vibrant preaching of St Dominic and became his most faithful companion in apostolic wanderings.   Twice he was voted as the Provincial of the Roman province and founded the convents of Perugia and Trani.   A cultured and far-sighted man, he promoted the study of Sacred Scripture and the compilation of biblical Concordances.   He died in Perugia where he is buried in the church of St nicola puglia

Nicola was born in Giovinazzo, in the province of Bari in 1197 of noble parents.    His parents, raised him with great care.   When he was still a child, an angel appeared to him who ordered him to abstain forever from the flesh because one day he would enter an Order where abstinence was perpetual law.   As he was the son of Judge Lupone, Nicola was sent to study in Bologna.   Here in 1218 met St Dominic.   It was then that the young man decided to enter the Order of the great preacher.

bl nicola puglia home
Bl Nicola’s Birthplace

He was received into the Dominican Order and was donned with the habit by the hands of Father St Dominic himself, who later made him his faithful companion in his apostolic journeys.   He preached in many cities of Italy with immense results and his ardent words were often confirmed by great miracles.

He was the third Provincial of the Roman Province, which then extended from Tuscany to Sicily, which he exercised with strength and gentleness for two terms.   One day, exhorting his religious to mutual charity, he confided to them that a recently died religious had appeared to him for forgiveness, who had been the cause of a serious dispute.   Having urged him to ask for forgiveness from God and not himself, the culprit replied that the Lord demanded this satisfaction from him:  “See Father Nicola, how serious and dangerous it is to offend your neighbour and how important it is to appease him after having him offended.”

Pope Gregory IX commissioned him to visit monasteries and to preach the Crusade against the Saracens.img-Blessed-Nicholas-Paglia

After long years of apostolic labours he retired to the convent of Perugia.   Here he had a vision.   Father Raone Romano, a dear friend of his most fruitful days of religious life, appeared and announced to him, in a message from the Madonna, his near death, which occurred in 1256.Dirk_hendricksz_centen_(teodoro_d'errico),_madonna_del_rosario,_1578,_Q1118,_01

Pope Leo XII confirmed his cultus and named him Blessed on 26 March 1828.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Sixth Sunday n Ordinary Time, Year A +2020 and Memorials of the Saints – 16 February

Sixth Sunday n Ordinary Time, Year A +2020

St Aganus of Airola
Bl Bernard Scammacca OP (1430-1487) (aged 57)
About St Bernard:

St Faustinus of Brescia
St Gilbert of Sempringham
St Honestus of Nimes
St John III of Constantinople
Bl Joseph Allamano (1851–1926)
St Julian of Egypt
St Juliana of Campania
St Juliana of Nicomedia
Blessed Nicola Paglia OP (1197-1256)
St Onesimus of Ephesus
Bl Philippa Mareria

Martyrs of Cilicia – 12 saints: A group of Christians who ministered to other Christians who were condemned to work the mines of Cilicia in the persecutions of Maximus. They were arrested, tortured and martryed by order of the governor Firmilian.
• Daniel
• Elias
• Isaias
• Jeremy
• Samuel
The group also includes the three known have been sentenced to the mines –
• Pamphilus
• Paul of Jamnia
• Valens of Jerusalem
and those who were exposed as Christians as a result of these murders –
• Julian of Cappadocia
• Porphyrius of Caesarea
• Seleucius of Caesarea
• Theodule the Servant
They were martyred in 309 in Cilicia, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).