Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 27 April

Venerable Father Bartholomew of the Martyrs, Archbishop, O.P.

Father Bartholomew feared the episcopate so much that neither the request of the King of Portugal nor the counsels of Venerable Louis of Granada could induce him to accept it; it required the order of higher superiors, under pain of excommunication. But the same spirit of faith which led him to shun the obligations of this dignity gave him all the necessary dispositions to fulfill it well. The most remarkable of these qualities was an unalterable firmness, which rendered him the enemy of relaxation and irregularity in his own diocese, and which at the Council of Trent emboldened him to claim without flinching the reform of abuses among all classes of the clergy at the risk of seriously displeasing some very eminent personages. His recreation was the study of the Holy Scripture, which he called “the bishop’s garden.” He was united by a common tie to Saint Charles Borromeo, both having the same ideas regarding the necessity of raising the tone of the sacerdotal and the Christian life in the Church. One of his greatest means of doing good was the pastoral visitation, from which nothing deterred him, neither fatigue, nor perils, nor the insignificance of the hamlets. “So long as there is one soul to be saved,” he would say, “one cannot do too much.” In his old age he resigned his charge, in order to prepare for eternity and employed his leisure in teaching catechism to peasants.

Prayer

O my God, raise me up above all human respect!

Practice

Examine whether your natural disposition does not lead you to practice to mistake softness for gentleness and asperity for firmness.