Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 5 March

Venerable Father Mark of Marcianise, Confessor, O.P.

Pope Clement VIII esteemed this holy religious very highly and said of him one day “there is a saint.” He spent all his life in fulfilling the commission given him by the Holy See to restore regular discipline, which had become relaxed through the influence of heresy. Indeed the heretics well understood that to attack monasteries was to attack the Church. Venerable Father Mark met with great opposition, even with blows, but he persevered and procured fruits of perfection in proportion to his sufferings. Being made Master of Novices, in his humility he loved to sweep the choir with them and join in their penances. He admitted never having failed in obedience for fifty-six years, because he always obeyed simply and without regarding human reasons. At one time when he had thirty novices ill, he contrived in his charity to take care of them all. The Venerable Ursula Benincasa, foundress of the Sisters of the Hermitage, vowed to a life of retreat, was his penitent, and she said: “I shall owe to God a severe account for having profited so little by the two great directors He has given me, Philip Neri and Father Mark. Having lost his voice, Venerable Father Mark continued to recite the Rosary till the end of his life, so as not to give up his favorite devotion so long as his heart continued beating. He was buried in the Chapel of the Holy Name of Jesus (1616).

Prayer

In the difficulties of a holy life say with Venerable Father Mark: “I will never lose courage; neither the world nor the powers of hell can prevail against God for Whose cause I am working.”

Practice

Induce the sick to say a decade of the Rosary with you in union with Jesus carrying His Cross.