Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 28 March

The Devout Brother Simon, of the Convent of Paris

This good Brother showed to what perfection a religious can attain solely by the exercises of community life, even when prevented by illness from following them completely. He desired to die rather than accept, except through obedience, dispensations from the rule, yet God willed that a disease of the lungs should oblige him often to make use of them, so that he turned his efforts still more towards interior perfection. So great was his sense of the presence of God that, when forbidden on account of his health to apply himself to it, the prohibition caused such strange and violent emotion that it had to be withdrawn. This divine presence sometimes caused his face to shine resplendently. His minute attention to the rubrics, his reverence in putting on the surplice, his custom of bowing to the religious more or less profoundly according to their character, revealed the spirit of faith which animated him. During recreation, he cared only to speak of the things of God. He took everything, pleasant or painful, alike from the hands of the infirmarian with simplicity, docility and gratitude. On entering his cell he always said a “Hail Mary” to obtain some virtue, above all humility, “which,” he said, “greatly exasperated the devil.” On Good Friday, the day before he died, he desired to keep the fast. In the evening he begged pardon of the infirmarian for any scandal he might have given and then went, on the morrow, to sing “Alleluia” in Heaven, after six months of profession. (1622)

Prayer

My God, show me how great is the worth of common actions, thanks to their number and the intention which ennobles them.

Practice

Calm and assiduous fidelity to the presence of God.