Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 18 April

Blessed Robert of Avignon, Confessor, O.P.

Blessed Robert belonged to one of the notable families in Uzes. The recollection of a blessing received from a kindly Dominican, when still a child, awakened in him an attraction for the religious life. He received the gift of prophecy and had some very detailed revelations concerning the evils existing in the Church and in the Order, which had fallen at that time into relaxation. Like Jeremiah, he suffered great sorrow in his soul, but without being discouraged; on the contrary he preached penitence everywhere, he freely reproached prelates for having fallen away from the true ecclesiastical spirit, and preachers for the subtle and pretentious style which they affected in the pulpit and which left poor souls hungering for solid Christian instruction. His celestial visions made him still more humble and mortified. He died in the odor of sanctity. His coffin raised itself from the earth at the funeral, by which it was understood that it should be kept, not under the feet of the brethren, but high up, in the walls of the sanctuary, as is usual with the beatified. It was the custom for the officiating priest to incense the relics in sign of veneration and honor. (1296)

Prayer

O my God, put an end to our present evils, which come from charity grown cold.

Practice

Receive the blessing of a priest or bishop in the spirit of faith, and when you have no opportunity of receiving it, bow your head in secret to receive that of Jesus and Mary.