Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 19 May

Pope Saint Celestine VSaint Peter Celestine, Pope

The spirit of evil, knowing well what this servant of God was called to do for the Church, opposed him in every possible way – in his studies, his desires after perfection, his love of solitude and also in his labors for the foundation of the Order of Celestines. These he placed under the rule of Saint Benedict, and the special work of this Order was, by reviving primitive observance to counteract the general relaxation of the times. But Celestine, strong in the strength of God, never wavered. He was guided by the counsels of several Dominicans, who prepared the way for his election to the Papacy. At the age of seventy-two he was forced reluctantly to accept this charge, which, however, he very soon resigned, not in order to escape its burdens, but from a profound conviction that he was not fitted for the pomp and grandeur of the Pontifical court, or for the management of the many affairs which such a charge involved. He was called to a life of complete solitude and God made known to him that this attraction was really the result of divine grace and justified his decision by numerous miracles, worked both before and after his death (1296). Among his writings are a “Book of Confessions” and a “Treatise on the Purification of the Conscience by Confession.” He expired while pronouncing these words of the Psalmist: “Let all spirits praise the Lord.” (1296)

Prayer

“O most high Wisdom, I am happier in listening to Thine admirable lessons than if I possessed the empire of the whole world.” – Blessed Henry Suso

Practice

If you undertake any important work for God, except that the devil will raise obstacles. But fear him not, fear rather your own want of energy and your weak faith.