A Year with the Saints – 15 September


Prayer ought to be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering and accompanied with great reverence. One should consider that he stands in the presence of a God, and speaks with a Lord before whom the Angels tremble from awe and fear. Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi

Saint Francis de Sales, even when he was alone, remained before God through the whole time of prayer, humble, abased, composed, motionless and with singular reverence, like a loving son. Saint John Berchmans remained always on his knees, with his eyes closed, his hands clasped on his bosom, without support, motionless as a rock, with a countenance full of joy and such ardor that others placed themselves near him, that they might gain fervor by looking at him.

Saint Rose of Lima kept herself recollected, and so great was her attention and devotion that any object that presented itself before her distracted her no more than if she were insensible. When she went to church she placed herself in a corner, with her eyes fixed upon the tabernacle. She would remain thus for many hours immovable, while the sight of persons passing near her and the general buzz and murmur of the crowd did not disturb her at all.

At the close of their prayers, many Saints showed exterior marks of their fervor. Saint Gervasius, the Bishop, was often seen with rays around his head; the face of the venerable Father John Leonardi was so changed and glowing that he seemed transformed into a Seraph; and the Abbot Silvanus was transported to such a degree that all the things of the earth seemed to him vile and abject, and he covered his eyes with his hands that he might not see them, saying: “Close, my eyes, and seek not to look at the things of the world; for there is nothing in it worthy to be gazed upon.”

Saint Bernard, one morning, saw an Angel going through the choir with a censer full of perfumes, censing the monks as they were at prayers. This censing produced in the hearts of the fervent a very sweet fragrance, but in those of the negligent and sleepy, a foul and sickening odor.

MLA Citation