Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 24 February

Venerable Father Antoninus Timmermaus, Martyr to the Secrecy of the Confessional

Venerable Father Timmermaus entered the Order at Antwerp at the age of twenty one and became an excellent preacher not only in Flemish but in French and Spanish. The city was at that time under the tyranny of the Protestants, but instead of leaving it for safety he directed all his zeal to visiting, consoling, confessing and assisting the faithful in general in their own houses. A man named John Tauregny whose confession he had heard, having later on tried to assassinate William of Nassau, the chief of the heretics, the report was maliciously spread that he had done it at the instigation of his confessor. Venerable Father Timmermaus was, therefore, arrested and no horrors were spared him in prison, the rack and the scourge being employed to make him reveal what had been said in confession. All, however, was useless, so they strangled him and cut his body in four pieces. His head remained for a long time on a pole, but neither rain nor air had any effect upon it. It was surrounded with radiant light and doves fluttered about it (1582).

Prayer

“O Lord, keep my lips that I may not sin by my tongue.” (Prayer of David, which Venerable Father Antoninus repeated during his sufferings).

Practice

Be watchful not to speak of the faults of others, whether known or unknown. To go over the remembrance of them is not conducive to their good or to your own, nor to the general edification, nor to the good use of your tongue, of which you will have to give an account.