Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, SAINT of the DAY

Nostra Signora d Montesenario / Our Lady of Monte Senario, Florence, Italy (1240) and Memorials of the Saints – 19 June

Nostra Signora d Montesenario / Our Lady of Monte Senario, Florence, Italy – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM) (1240) – 19 June:

The cradle of the Order of the Servants of Mary began at Monte Senario in the year 1233 in the City of Florence, Italy, by a group of Hermits now known as the Seven Holy Founders Saints of the Servite Order – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM). They were sons of wealthy families and they retired from the world for a life of prayer and devotion to the praises of Mary.
Leaving La Camarzia, a Suburb of Florence, the seven went to Monte Senario in the region of Tuscany. Uncertain of what way of life to follow, they turned to Our Lady in prayer and supplication and she appeared to them on the Feast of the Assumption in the year 1240.

Monte Senario

The Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Monte Senario, presented the Seven Holy Founders with the Habit of their new Order and an Angel stood nearby bearing a scroll that was marked, “Servants of Mary.” He read to the Seven Holy Founders the following words: “You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.”

From that day in 1240, the seven were known as the Servants of Mary, the Order of Servants of Mary, or the Servites. under her title of Mother of Sorrows (Italian: Madonna Addolorata) Members of the Order take solemn vows to especially honour the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The sorrows are, in order, the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of the Holy Child at Jerusalem, meeting Jesus on His Way to Calvary, standing at te foot of the Cross, Jesus taken down from the Cross, and the burial of Christ.
According to an ancient document called the “Legenda de Origin ordini,” “Our Lady wanted to begin her Order with seven men to show everyone, with absolute clarity, that she wanted to adorn her Order, endowing it with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

The Order gained official recognition in 1249 but was not officially approved until Pope Benedict IX issued a Bull in 1304. Their Church on Monte Senario, rebuilt in 1700, is a favourite resort of pilgrims from Florence especially. Mary here, as Our Lady of Monte Senario, as well as elsewhere, proves herself the miraculous Mother of God.
The names of the Seven Holy Founders are Saint Alexis Falconieri, Saint Bartholomew degli Amidei, Saint Benedict dell’Antella, Saint Buonfiglio Monaldi, Saint Gherardino Sostegni, Saint Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni, and Saint John Buonagiunta Monetti.

St Romuald (c 951-1027) (Optional Memorial) Monk, Abbot, Ascetic, Founder of the Camaldolese Order and a major figure in the eleventh-century “Renaissance of eremitical asceticism.”
Biography of St Romuald:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/19/saint-of-the-day-19-june-st-romuald-c-951-1027/

St Adleida of Bergamo
Bl Arnaldo of Liniberio
St Culmatius of Arezzo
St Deodatus of Jointures
St Deodatus of Nevers
St Gaudentius of Arezzo
St Gervase and St Protase (Died c 165) Martyrs, Twin Brothers of Martyr Parents, Laymen
St Hildegrin of Châlons-sur-Marne
Bl Humphrey Middlemore
St Innocent of Le Mans

St Juliana Falconieri OSM (1270 – 1341) Virgin and Foundress of the Religious Sisters of the Order of Servites, Mystic.
Her Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/19/saint-of-the-day-19-june-st-juliana-falconieri-osm-1270-1341/

St Lambert of Saragossa
St Lupo of Bergamo

Blessed Maria Rosa/Margaretha Flesch FSMA (1826-1906) Religious Sister and Founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels, Apostle of the sick, the poor, orphans, spiritual writer, Nurse and Teacher.
Her Life:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/19/saint-of-the-day-blessed-maria-rosa-flesch-fsma-1826-1906/

St Modeste Andlauer
St Nazario of Koper
Bl Odo of Cambrai
St Rémi Isoré
Bl Sebastian Newdigate
Bl Thomas Woodhouse
Bl William Exmew
St Zosimus of Umbria

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2021, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – ‘Going to your room …’ St Augustine

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Ash Wednesday, Readings Joel 2:12-18Psalms 51:3-45-612-1314 and 172 Corinthians 5:206:2Matthew 6:1-616-18 and the Memorial of The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order OSM – Formation on 15 August 1233.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” – Matthew 6:6

REFLECTION – “Going to your room, is returning to your heart. Blest are they who rejoice at returning to their heart and who find nothing bad there…

They are greatly to be pitied who, returning home, have to fear they will be chased away because of bitter fights with their family. But how much unhappier are they, who do not dare return to their own conscience, for fear of being chased away by remorse for their sins. If you want to return to your heart with pleasure, purify it. “Blest are the pure of heart for they shall see God.” (Mt 5,8) Remove from your heart the stains of covetousness, the spots of miserliness, the ulcer of superstition, remove the sacrilege, the evil thoughts, the hatred. I’m not only speaking of those things against your friends but even of those against your enemies. Remove them all, then return to your heart and you will be happy.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – 2nd Discourse on Psalm 33, <8; PL 36,312

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, just as the Seven Holy Founders, were chosen to be messengers of Your love and forgiveness, grant we pray, that by their prayers, we too may bcome bearers of Your gracious love. Holy Father, You have given Yourself to us in the Face of Your Divine Son.   You have given Him to us to be our food and our portion.   You have consoled us with His presence on the Altar of Offering and washed us with His blood, day by day, You have sacrificed Him to save us.  We pray for the assistance of our holy Mother, during our journey to the eternal glory of the kingdom. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

ASH WEDNESDAY +2021, Our Lady of Constantinople, Bari, Turkey (566) and Memorials of the Saints – 17 February

ASH WEDNESDAY +2021

Our Lady of Constantinople, Bari, Turkey (566) – 17 February:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Constantinople, formerly the synagogue of the Jews, which was converted into a Church of the Blessed Virgin by the Emperor Justin the Younger, in the year 566.”
The remains of the great Byzantine Church of Sainte-Marie-du-Rosaire, called Notre-Dame de Constantinople, which is encumbered by later wild constructions and debris of all kinds, are scarcely representative of what this important sanctuary had once been.
In the 1930’s, Paul Schatzmann, a Swiss archaeologist, had made important discoveries here, supplemented by another archaeologist, Stephan Westphalen, a German, in the 1990’s. We do not know much about the Byzantine past of the building, we only know for certain, that the Church was transferred to the Dominicans in 1475 and it took the name of Our Lady of Constantinople and later, that of Saint Mary of the Rosary.
In 1640 Our Lady of Constantinople was converted into a mosque in the name of Kemankes, then Odalar camii. Much of the substructure had been rebuilt before the fire of 1919, which led to its eventual abandonment.
Despite the painstaking searches conducted by the two archaeologists, it is not easy to have a very clear idea of the scale of the building and its dependencies. However, the proximity of the mosque Kasim Aga, which also has Byzantine structures and the Aetius (Ipek Bodrumu) suggest that the Church belonged to a large monastery, whose name remains unknown.
From the point of view of the two archaeologists, the foundations of the Church date from the seventh century but the final form of the Church was given after the fire of 1203. After the reconstruction and expansion of the Church in the thirteenth century, the foundations of the old Church were used as a mausoleum, while two slightly asymmetrical chapels were added in the apse. Part of the old Church was filled to construct the new Church with the Greek cross plan. Nothing suggests that the substructure of the second building was originally a funerary chapel, as its primary function was to provide a basis for a monumental Church. It appears the sub-structure was gradually used for tombs of the faithful.
In the upper part, there are paintings of the life of the Blessed Virgin dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Fragments of frescoes have been discovered on several walls. In the small central chamber of the crypt, a crowned Virgin surrounded by angels suggests that a Marian relic may have once been enshrined here.

__
Seven Founders of Servants of Mary (Optional Memorial)
St Alexis Falconieri (c (1200–1310) One of the Seven Founders of the Servites
• St Bartholomew degli Amidei
• St Benedict dell’Antella
• St Buonfiglio Monaldi
• St Gherardino Sostegni
• St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni
• St John Buonagiunta Monetti

About these holy men:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/saints-of-the-day-17-february-the-seven-holy-founders-of-the-servite-order-osm-formation-on-15-august-1233/

St Alexis Falconieri – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS (13th century –1310)
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/17/saint-of-the-day-17-february-saint-alexis-falconieri-13th-century-1310/
St Antoni Leszczewicz
St Bartholomew degli Amidei – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict dell’Antella – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict of Cagliari
St Buonfiglio Monaldi – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Bonosus of Trier
Bl Constabilis of Cava
St Donatus the Martyr
Bl Elisabetta Sanna
St Evermod of Ratzeburg
St Faustinus the Martyr
St Finan of Iona
St Fintan of Clonenagh (c 524 – 603) Abbot, “Father of the Irish Monks”
St Flavian of Constantinople
St Fortchern of Trim
St Gherardino Sostegni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Guevrock
St Habet-Deus
St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St John Buonagiunta Monetti – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Julian of Caesarea
St Loman of Trim
Blessed Luke Belludi (c 1200- c 1285)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/17/saint-of-the-day-17-february-blessed-luke-belludi-ofm-c-1200-c-1285/
St Lupiano
Bl Martí Tarrés Puigpelat
St Mesrop the Teacher
St Petrus Yu Chong-nyul
St Polychronius of Babylon
St Romulus the Martyr
St Secundian the Martyr
St Silvinus of Auchy
St Theodulus of Caesarea
Bl William Richardson

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FRANCISCAN OFM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – ‘…Don’t wait for Tabor to “see” God’

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: James 1:1-11, Psalm 119:67-68, 71-72,75-76, Mark 8:11-13 and the Memorial of St Alexis Falconieri (13th century –1310) Priest, One of Seven Founders of the Servites

“Why does this generation seek a sign?” … Mark 8:12

REFLECTION – “Believing even in darkness – The Holy Spirit tells us:  Do not let your mind succumb to temptation and sorrow, for joy of the heart is life for the soul.   Sorrow is no good for anything and causes our spiritual death.

It happens sometimes that the darkness of trial overwhelms your soul’s heaven but this darkness is light!
Thanks to it, you believe even in darkness, the mind feels lost, it fears no longer being able to see, no longer understanding anything.   But this is the moment when the Lord speaks and makes Himself present to the soul and the soul listens, understands and loves in the fear of God.   So don’t wait for Tabor to “see” God when you are already contemplating Him on Sinai.

Progress in the joy of a sincere heart, that is wide open.   And if it is impossible for you to keep that happiness, at least don’t lose courage and keep all your trust in God.” … Saint Pius of Pietralcina “Padre Pio” (1887-1968)mark 8 12 why does this generation seek a sign - dont wait for tabor - st padre pio 17 feb 2020

PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by Your power throughout the course of this day, even as You have enabled us to begin it.   Your grace is all that we need to see the loving kindness of Your Son, our Lord Jesus in all we meet.   Do not let us turn aside from His path but by the faith You have granted us, let us find meaning in all, which is the sign of Your glory.   Do not let us turn aside to sin and may the intercession of St Alexis Falconieri and the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites, grant us courage and peace.   Through Jesus Christ, our Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.st alexis falconieri 7 holy founders servites 17 feb 2020 pray for us 17 feb 2020

seven-holy-founders-pray-for-us-17-feb-2017 and 2020

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 February – Saint Alexis Falconieri (13th century –1310)

Saint of the Day – 17 February – Saint Alexis Falconieri (13th century –1310) Religious, one of Seven Founders of the Servites, who are celebrated together on the anniversary of his death.   Born 13th century at Florence, Italy and died on 17 February 1310 at Monte Sennario, Italy.   Patronage – Orvieto, Italy.st alexis falconieri

He was the son of Bernardo Falconieri, a merchant prince of Florence and one of the leaders of the Republic.   His family belonged to the Guelph party and opposed the Imperialists.

Falconieri grew up in the practice of the most profound humility.   He became a wealthy noble in one of Italy’s most wealthy and cultured cities.   He joined the Laudesi, a pious confraternity of the Blessed Virgin and there met the six future companions of his life of sanctity.   He was favoured with an apparition of the Mother of God on 15 August 1233, as were these companions.  She asked these seven young nobles to dedicate their lives to God and they did, founding a religious order. 7 holy founders servites 6

They took up a common life together and were later again visited by Mary, who held a black habit and told them, “I have chosen you to be my first Servants, and under this name you are to till my Son’s vineyard.   Here, too, is the habit which you are to wear, its dark colour will recall the pangs which I suffered on the day when I stood by the cross of my only Son.”

7 holy founders servites 57 holy founders servites 3

Falconieri at once abandoned all and retired to La Camarzia, a house on the outskirts of the town and was bestowed the title of Founder and Mystic.

With humility, he traversed, the streets of the city through which he had lately moved as a prominent citizen, as a mendicant, in quest of alms for his brethren.   So deep and sincere was his humility that, though he lived to the great age of over 100 years, he always refused to enter the Priesthood, of which he deemed himself unworthy.

His duties were confined principally to the material needs of the various communities in which he lived  . In 1252 the new church at Cafaggio, on the outskirts of Florence, was completed under his care, with the financial assistance of Chiarissimo Falconieri.   Saint Giuliana Falconieri, his niece, was trained in sanctity under his personal direction.st alexis falconieri 2

The influence exerted on his countrymen by Falconieri and his companions may be gathered from the fact that in a few years ten thousand persons had enrolled themselves under the banner of the Blessed Virgin in the Servite Order.

He died in Monte Senario on 17 February 1310.

His shrine and entombed body is near the church of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence.   Pope Clement XI declared Falconieri worthy of the veneration of the faithful,  on 1 December 1717 and accorded the same honour to his six companions on 3 July 1725.

About these holy men:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/saints-of-the-day-17-february-the-seven-holy-founders-of-the-servite-order-osm-formation-on-15-august-1233/

st alexis falconieri death

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 17 February – “Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be according to your word.”

Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Founders of Servants of Mary

“Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be according to your word.”

On this day we celebrate the feast of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order- Sts Bonfilius, Bonajuncta, Manettus, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostene and Alexis.

“About the year 1240, while the struggle between Emperor Frederick II and the Apostolic See left Ital­ian cities torn by rival factions, seven Florentine mer­chants decided to retire in solitude to [live] a common life marked by penance and prayer.   They were already members of a lay group, called Servants of Saint Mary and were noted for their special devotion to Our Lady and for a close adherence to the gospel ideal of fraternal love and service to one another and to others, especially the poor and the sick.

“Consequently, they put aside their commercial ac­tivities, left their homes and distributed their personal possessions among the churches and the poor.   The grey cloth commonly worn by penitents became their regular dress.   They moved into a small house outside the city walls where they continued to minister to the spiritual and material needs of those who came to them for help.”

“. . . in the year 1304, Pope Benedict XI definitively approved the Order of Ser­vants of Saint Mary with the Bull ‘Dum levamus.’   He wrote concerning the original spirit of the Order:  ‘Because of the devotion you have for the glorious Blessed Virgin Mary, you have taken her name, humbly calling yourselves her Servants.'”

–from the Office of Readings “for the Solemnity of the Seven Holy Fathers of Our Order”

Their names in the world were Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Amadeus de Amidei (Bartolomeus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell’ Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sostene), and Alessio de’ Falconieri (Alexius).

St Alexius lived to be a hundred years old.   He died on 17 February 1310.   The Seven Holy Founders share a common feast, just as they share a common grave.

It took great courage for these men to leave their prosperous businesses and live a life of prayer and penance.   They had been leaders in society, so their decision to change their way of living caused a stir and inspired others to rethink their values and make some changes in their lives.

Good companions are one 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!

P.S.  – In case you are interested in the Secular Servites, go here: https://secularservites.org/

seven-holy-founders-pray-for-us-17-feb-2017.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 17 February

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C *2019

Seven Founders of Servants of Mary (Optional Memorial)
• Sts Alexis Falconieri
• St Bartholomew degli Amidei
• St Benedict dell’Antella
• St Buonfiglio Monaldi
• St Gherardino Sostegni
• St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni
• St John Buonagiunta Monetti
About these holy men: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/saints-of-the-day-17-february-the-seven-holy-founders-of-the-servite-order-osm-formation-on-15-august-1233/


St Alexis Falconieri – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Antoni Leszczewicz
St Bartholomew degli Amidei – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict dell’Antella – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Benedict of Cagliari
St Buonfiglio Monaldi – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Bonosus of Trier
Bl Constabilis of Cava
St Donatus the Martyr
Bl Elisabetta Sanna
St Evermod of Ratzeburg
St Faustinus the Martyr
St Finan of Iona
St Fintan of Clonenagh
St Flavian of Constantinople
St Fortchern of Trim
St Gherardino Sostegni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Guevrock
St Habet-Deus
St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St John Buonagiunta Monetti – SEVEN HOLY FOUNDERS
St Julian of Caesarea
St Loman of Trim
Bl Luke Belludi (c 1200- c 1285)

St Lupiano
Bl Martí Tarrés Puigpelat
St Mesrop the Teacher
St Petrus Yu Chong-nyul
St Polychronius of Babylon
St Romulus the Martyr
St Secundian the Martyr
St Silvinus of Auchy
St Theodulus of Caesarea
Bl William Richardson

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (1233)

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!seven-holy-founders-pray-for-us-17 feb 2017

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – 17 February – The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order OSM – Formation on 15 August 1233

Saints of the Day – 17 February – The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order OSM – Formation on 15 August 1233.   The Servite Order is one of the five original Catholic mendicant orders.   Its objectives are the sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows.   The members of the Order use O.S.M. (Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis) as their post-nominal letters.   The male members are known as Servite Friars or Servants of Mary.   The Order of Servants of Mary (The Servites) religious family includes friars (priests and brothers), contemplative nuns, a congregation of active sisters and lay groups.

Between the years 1225 and 1227 seven young Florentines joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin—popularly known as the ‘Laudesi’ or Praisers.   It was a period when the prosperous city of Florence was being rent by political factions and distracted by the heresy of the Cathari:  it was also a time of general relaxation of morals even where devotional practices were retained.   These young men were members of the most prominent families of the city.   Whether they were all friends before they joined the Laudesi is not clear but in that confraternity they became closely allied.

The eldest was Buonfiglio Monaldo, who became their leader.   The others were Alexis Falconieri, Benedict dell’ Antella, Bartholomew Amidei, Ricovero Uguccione, Gerardino Sostegni, and John Buonagiunta.   They had as their spiritual director James of Poggibonsi, who was chaplain of the Laudesi, a man of great holiness and spiritual insight.   All of them came to realise the call to a life of renunciation and they determined to have recourse to our Lady in their perplexity.   On the feast of the Assumption, as they were absorbed in prayer, they saw her in a vision and were inspired by her to withdraw from the world into a solitary place and to live for God alone.   There were difficulties, because, though three of them were celibates, four had been married and had ties, although two had become widowers.   Suitable provision for their dependants was arranged and with the approval of the bishop they withdrew from the world and betook themselves to a house called La Carmarzia, outside the gates of Florence, twenty-three days after they had received their call.   Before long they found themselves so much disturbed by constant visitors from Florence that they decided to withdraw to the wild and deserted slopes of Monte Senario, where they built a simple church and hermitage and lived a life of almost incredible austerity.

seven holy founders 4

In spite of difficulties, visitors sometimes found their way to the hermits and many wished to join them but they refused to accept recruits.   So they continued to live for several years,—until they were visited by their bishop, Ardingo, and Cardinal Castiglione, who had heard about their sanctity.   He was greatly edified but made one adverse criticism:  ‘You treat yourselves in a manner bordering on barbarity and you seem more desirous of dying to time than of living for eternity.   Take heed, the enemy of souls often hides himself under the appearance of an angel of light . . . Hearken to the counsels of your superiors.’

Again the solitaries gave themselves up to prayer for light and again they had a vision of our Lady, who bore in her hand a black habit while an angel held a scroll inscribed with the title of Servants of Mary.   She told them she—had chosen them to be her servants, that she wished them to wear the black habit and to follow the Rule of St Augustine. From that date, April 13, 1240, they were known as the Servants of Mary, or Servites.

seven holy founders

They were clothed by the bishop himself, Buonfiglio being elected their superior. According to custom they selected names by which they should thenceforth be known, and became Brothers Bonfilius, Alexis, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostenes, Manettus and Buonagiunta.   By the wish of the bishop, all except St Alexis, who in his humility begged to be excused, prepared to receive holy orders and in due time they were fully professed and ordained priests.   The new order, which took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the monastic orders, increased amazingly and it soon became necessary to form fresh houses.   Siena, Pistoia and Arezzo were the first places chosen, and afterwards the houses at Carfaggio, the convent and church of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence and the convent at Lucca were established.   Meanwhile, although the Servites had the approval of their immediate superiors, they had not been recognised by the Holy See.   It was only in 1259 that the order was practically recognised by Alexander IV, and not until 1304 over sixty years after its foundation-that it received the explicit and formal approbation of Blessed Benedict XI.    St Bonfilius had remained as prior general until 1256, when he begged to be relieved owing to old age.   He died on new year’s night, 1261.

seven holy founders 3seven holy founders 2

St Buonagiunta, the youngest of the seven, was the second prior general but not long after his election he breathed his last in chapel while the gospel of the Passion was being read.   St Amadeus ruled over the important convent of Carfaggio, but returned to Monte Senario to end his days.   St Manettus became fourth prior general and sent missionaries to Asia but he retired to make way for St Philip Benizi, upon whose breast he died.   St Hugh and St Sostenes went abroad—Sostenes to Paris and Hugh to found convents in Germany.   They were recalled in 1276 and, being attacked by illness, they passed away side by side the same night.   St Alexis, the humble lay-brother outlived them all and he was the only one who survived to see the order fully and finally recognised.   He is reported to have died at the age one hundred and ten.

450px-2709_-_Innsbruck_-_Servitenkirche
Servite Church in Innsbruck, Austria

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 February

Thought for the Day – 17 February

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!

seven-holy-founders-pray-for-us-2

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 February

One Minute Reflection – 17 February

O children, listen to me; instruction and wisdom do not reject!…………Proverbs 8:32-33

REFLECTION – “Let Mary never be far from your lips
and from your heart.
Following her, you will never lose your way.
Praying to her, you will never sink into despair.
Contemplating her, you will never go wrong.”
……St Bernardine of Siena

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to have Mary as my constant intercessor. Allow me to reach out to her as my mother, to lead me to her Son, for she is Your beloved Daughter, who carried Your Son to us in order that we might see our way and be able to reach our home in heaven. Holy Founders of the Servites, pray for us all that we may be blessed by the intercession and protection of Mary our Mother and please pray for us all, amen.

proverbs-8-32-33let-mary-never-be-far-from-your-lips-st-bernardieneseven-holy-founders-pray-for-us