A Year with the Saints – 20 April


Observe that we gain more in a single day by trials which come to us from God and our neighbor, than we would in ten years by penances and other exercises, which we take up of ourselves. – Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Lionina, after suffering for thirty-eight years from a cruel disease, longed to endure yet greater pains, and to finish her course as a martyr. While she was burning with this desire, she was uplifted in an ecstasy, and saw a most beautiful crown, still unfinished, which she was told was in preparation for her. Eager to have it completed, she prayed the Lord to increase her torments, and He sent two soldiers, who tortured her with blows and insults. After this, an Angel appeared to her with a crown in his hand, quite finished, and told her that these last trials had placed in it the jewels that were previously wanting.

An Angel appeared one day to the blessed Henry Suso, and offered him a shield, a lance, and spurs, saying: “Hitherto you have fought among the infantry, and now you will join the cavalry; hitherto you have practiced mortifications of your own choice, now you shall be mortified by the scourge of evil tongues; hitherto you have enjoyed milk from the breast of Christ, now you shall be inebriated with His gall; hitherto you have been pleasing to men, now they will rise against you.” The following day, as the servant of God was meditating upon this vision, he felt impelled to go to the window, and on looking out, he saw a goat in the courtyard with a rag in its mouth, which it was pulling and tearing. Then he heard a voice which said: “Thus are you to be torn by the mouths of others.” He, thereupon, went downstairs and picked up the rag, which he preserved as a precious pledge of his cross.

MLA Citation