Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 29 March

Blessed Venturino of BergamoBlessed Venturinus of Bergamo, Confessor, O.P.

During the first five years of his religious life, Blessed Venturinus lived in a state of tepidity, sleeping beyond the appointed time, choosing the best food he could get and above all seeking to be much thought of and to gain a great reputation. After his conversion, his fervor was so great that during the Holy Sacrifice he was seen lifted in the air and surrounded with light. Multitudes flocked to hear his sermons, and he worked wonders among sinners in the confessional. He organized a pilgrimage of penance to Rome, in which forty thousand persons joined, but Benedict XII, who was then residing at Avignon, suspected this movement of having a political aim and of being a covert reproach to him for remaining in France, so he relegated Blessed Venturinus to the Convent of Marvejols. Here he continued his apostolate by means of letters, at the end of which he used to sketch the instruments of the Passion. One of these letters is addressed to the nuns at Prouille: “O chosen and gentle spouses of Christ,” he says, “it is the love of Jesus which impels me to write to you, because T so ardently desire to see you living in the charity of souls vowed to a state of perfection. Christ has shut my mouth by reason of my sins, but He has not tied my hands.” Restored to favor and put at the head of a crusade against the Turks, he died of the extreme fatigue caused by his zeal. (1346)

Prayer

O God, preserve me from seeking my own comfort in a holy state, which is only embraced in order to die to self.

Practice

Make a spiritual pilgrimage to Rome, to the tomb of the Holy Apostles, and there recite the Credo, and then three Hail Marys for the Sovereign Pontiff.