A Year with the Saints – 14 March


The more one mortifies his natural inclinations, the more he becomes capable of receiving the Ddivine inspirations, and the more he gains in virtue. – Saint Francis de Sales

The celebrated Father Laynez, one of the companions of Saint Ignatius, by means of this practice arrived at great purity of mind and imperturbable tranquillity of soul.

Saint Philip Neri made great use of this practice, both with his penitents and for himself. One example out of many will suffice. A nobleman of high rank had a dog, named Capriccio, of which he was very fond. One morning, an attendant of his brought the dog with him to the lodging of Saint Philip, who, on seeing him, caressed him a little. Upon this, the dog took such a fancy to him that he could not in any way be persuaded to leave him. He was again and again sent back to his master, who had him kindly treated and kept tied up for a while; but immediately on being released, he would go back to the Saint’s rooms, so that finally they were obliged to let him remain there. Saint Philip afterwards made much use of this dog for his own mortification, and that of his spiritual children. Sometimes he made them wash and comb him; sometimes, carry him in their arms, or lead him by a chain through the streets of Rome; and he himself would walk with them. These and similar mortifications lasted for a space of fifteen years.

MLA Citation