Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 10 May

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Antoninus of Florence, apse of Saint Dominic's Priory church, London, England; swiped with permission from the flickr account of Brother Lawrence Lew, OPSaint Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence, Confessor, O.P.

Saint Antoninus was at first refused the habit of the Order on account of his delicate health, but at last he obtained it by his entreaties and he showed during his whole life what can be done by a vigorous soul in a fragile body. After having caused regular observance to flourish anew in the celebrated congregation of Saint Mark, founded by Savonarola, he was obliged in obedience to the Pope to accept the Archbishopric of Florence, where he maintained the noble princess of an Altranasuis or an Ambrose against the encroachments of the magistrates. He was a great lover of poverty and used to go and study by the sanctuary lamp in order to economize for the benefit of the poor. His episcopal palace received the beautiful name of the “Hostel of the poor.” His prudence and penetration into the practical difficulties of the Christian life gained for him the surname of “Antoninus the Counsellor.” His love for the religious life was so great that he kept in his pocket the key of the cell which he had formerly occupied in his monastery, in token of affection and hope of returning thither. He generously assisted with alms some poor needle women on whose house he had seen angels, but one day he saw there a demon, for better circumstances had led these young women into idleness and love of dress. The canonical process for declaring him a doctor of the Church has already begun (1459).

Prayer

My God give me the spirit of counsel in my work.

Practice

Meditate on the words of Saint Antoninus at the hour of death. “To serve God is to reign.”