A Year with the Saints – 26 April


Learn, my Sisters, to suffer something for the love of God, without letting everyone know it. Saint Teresa of Avila

On a Good Friday, the venerable Father Daponte asked Our Lord the favor of giving him a share in His sufferings. He answered by sending him fearful pains for the rest of his life, which he received with the greatest possible joy. Once being asked how he felt, he replied: “Oh, how well God chastises this sinner! I tell you that except my head, no part of my body is without its own particular pain.” A little while after, he repented of having said so much, and made a vow never to reveal his sufferings to anyone, when he could conceal them without displeasing God.

Saint Philip Neri, in his illnesses, which were long, severe, and frequent, was seen always with a cheerful countenance and a serene brow; he never gave any sign of pain, however great it might be, nor talked about his sickness, except to the physicians.

For twenty-eight years Saint Clare suffered grievous infirmities, and in all that time was never heard to complain of her sufferings, but instead, she thanked God for them.

It is related in the Lives of the Fathers that when the Abbot Stephen was sick, his companions made for him a fried cake but used, by mistake, a kind of oil which was very bitter. The holy Abbot perceived this on tasting it, but ate a little, without saying anything. When another was made in the same way, the Abbot tasted that also, and left it without a word. This would have continued longer, if his companion, wishing to tempt him to eat by example, had not taken a piece himself. When he perceived how bitter it was, he was very much grieved; but the Abbot said: “Do not trouble yourself about it, my son, for if God had not willed that you should mistake one kind of oil for another, you would not have done it.”

Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi invented a great and secret mortification, which she afterwards practiced for the rest of her life. When she noticed that her Superiors, through regard for her health, tried to give her such food as she liked best, she showed a preference for what was disagreeable and unpleasant to her taste, and made it appear that those things which she really desired were objects of aversion, and would make her ill. And so it happened that what she disliked was often given her, and what would have suited her taste was forbidden. In reward for this, she enjoyed imperturbable peace of soul and the constant presence of God.

MLA Citation