Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 11 January

Venerable Father Peter of Rheims, Confessor, O.P.

From his first entrance into the Order, this holy religious made it his chief care to attain to the most perfect purity of heart, by the mortification of his senses and great diligence in prayer. Our Holy Father Saint Dominic encouraged him in the ministry of preaching and nominated him Provincial of France. He was prior of the Convent of Paris at the time when the Friars were the victims of the most terrible diabolical persecution; the demons appearing to them under horrible forms, beat them unmercifully, loaded them with abuse and insults and kept them in a continual state of panic. By the advice of Blessed Jordan, the afflicted prior ordered the response, “Te Sanctum,” in honor of the Holy Angels to be sung after Matins. But all efforts and prayers seemed in vain. It was then that the Venerable Prior had the happy inspiration of establishing the custom of singing the “Salve Regina” in procession through the church, every night after Compline. Since then this antiphon has been the means of obtaining great graces from Mary. At Marseilles, a holy woman, a Lombard by race, saw the Blessed Virgin, when the Friars sang: “Et Jesum”, etc., hold out to them the Infant Jesus, Who filled them with strength and joy. Another received her vocation to the religious life during the singing of the “Inviolata” at the Saturday procession. Father Peter of Rheims became Bishop of Agen, and died in 1245.

Prayer

O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria!

Practice

In all temptations, especially those to sadness and discouragement, at once invoke the Blessed Virgin with great confidence.