Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 24 January

detail of the painting 'Madonna col Bambino con il Beato Marcolino Amannai da Forli ed un angelo' by Guercino, date unknown; swiped from Santi e BeatiBlessed Marcolinus, Confessor, O.P.

Blessed Marcolinus entered the Order at the age of ten and remained in it until he was eighty. There is nothing to indicate that he was much engaged in preaching. His apostolate was rather inside the convent, where he labored for the maintenance and increase of regular observance, which is the foundation and protection of the exterior ministry in the Order of Saint Dominic. He loved to help the lay brothers in their manual work and to teach little children. His knees were hardened by long prayers and his life became a series of ecstasies in which he was insensible to everything around him, so that it was necessary to fetch him from his cell for meals. The only thing he heard was the elevation bell at Holy Mass, but so carefully did he conceal these heavenly favors under a veil of humility that his brethren merely thought him sleepy. The image of Our Blessed Lady before which he used to pray often spoke to him, and his love of Mary, instead of being only a sentiment, showed itself in deeds, giving him a heart overflowing with mercy. His charity towards all was admirable and gained for him the title of “Father of the poor.” An unknown child published the news of his death throughout the city, and the people began to honor him as a saint (1397).

Prayer

O my God, grant that I may truly seek humiliations and not merely to appear humble.

Practice

As far as possible without neglecting your duties, seek retreat from the world and prayer, today even more than usual.