Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 22 February

Blessed Father Peter Cellani, O.P.

When the Order first began to be established at Toulouse, in spite of its humble surroundings and the mortal hatred which the heretics had vowed against it, the religions found loyal support from one of the chief men of the city, who gave them shelter in his own house and showed himself ready to take their part. It was Peter Cellani who did this for Saint Dominic and his sons and to crown all he ended by giving himself, so that later on he used playfully to boast that he had received the Order before the Order received him. When the holy Patriarch sent him to preach, his previous life having but little prepared him for such work, he objected that he had for his sole text-book the homilies of Saint Gregory. But Saint Dominic, inspired from above, said to him: “Go, my son, with all confidence, I will pray for you twice every day and I doubt not that you will reap abundant fruit.” Cellani humbly obeyed and in truth his efforts were greatly blessed by Heaven. He had a hard struggle against the heretics who were very angry at their iniquities being brought to light, and regarded his ministry of justice and charity as tyranny. But persecution only increased the courage of Blessed Father Peter and he labored for forty-two years for the defense and propagation of the truth.

Prayer

Blessed Cellani, raise up friends in the world as generous and as prudent as you were yourself, to defend the religious Orders in the Church!

Practice

Be faithful in saying the suffrages ordered by the rule for the living and the dead, especially those who have helped you to carry out your vocation.