Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 12 May

detail from a portrait of Blessed Jane of Portugal, c.1475, Convento de Jesus Aveiro, PortugalBlessed Jane, Infanta of Portugal, Virgin, O.P.

Blessed Jane was so inflamed with love of God and zeal for her own perfection that she despised all the pleasures of the court, bore with calmness and constancy the persecutions of her relatives and rejected all her princely suitors, including the son of Louis IX of France, in order to consecrate herself to the service of God in the Third Order. Her great delight was to teach the catechism to prisoners, and her servants were ordered to seek twice every day for those poor persons who were ashamed to own their poverty. The manifestation of her interior life to her director seemed to her so important that she noted down each day her actions and dispositions in order the better to make it. It is said that her great horror of sin caused her martyrdom, for she was poisoned by a wicked woman whom she had ordered to be driven away from Aveiro (the town in which Blessed Jane had become a Dominican) after having failed by gentle means to reclaim her. Her great devotion was to the Passion of Our Lord, of which she could not hear without weeping. At the end of so pure a life she exclaimed when dying: “Lord, turn Thy face away from my sins.” (1490)

Prayer

O God, enlighten those parents who oppose the religious vocation of their children.

Practice

Seek out those who are, ashamed of their poverty, either by yourself or by some trustworthy person.