Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 1 February

The Three Martyrs of Urgel, O.P.

The Blessed Peter Pons was charged by the Holy See to follow the Albigensian heretics into the Pyrenees, where they had established themselves in order to be able more easily to overrun both France and Spain. He came to Urgel on this dangerous mission and succeeded so well in unmasking the errors of the heretics, that in their hatred they poisoned him. As soon as this deed became known, the Bishop of Urgel came with his clergy to fetch the sacred remains, but, night coming on them before their return, Almighty God deigned to keep the sun above the horizon until they reached the walls of the town. For this reason, the servant of God is represented holding a vessel containing poison in one hand and a sun in the other (1224).

Urgel has the honor of possessing, besides the bodies of Saints Lucy and Magdalen, that of Blessed Bernard of Traverse, religious of the Convent of Toulouse, who was cruelly stabbed for his zeal in defending the faith (1260).

Far from trembling at the remembrance of these two crimes, Blessed Peter of Cadireta in his turn came to uphold in the same town the interests of the Church, strong in the power of obedience to his superiors. The heretics attacked him and stoned him, as the Jews did Saint Stephen of old, and, being struck on the head, he rendered up his soul to God (1272).

Prayer

O Blessed Martyrs! give us a holy boldness in defense of the faith.

Examination

How do you practice the holy firmness of the martyrs? Is not yours a mistaken firmness which allows itself to be led into extremes and produces hardness and obstinacy? Have you a true firmness which chooses what God wills and then follows it with order, perseverance and self-sacrifice?