Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 7 February

image of Saint Romuald, a detail of the painting 'Adoration of the Child with Saints', by Fra Filippo Lippi, c.1463, tempera on wood, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, ItalySaint Romuald, Founder of the Camaldolese Monks

Whilst living in the world Saint Romuald went into a convent to do voluntary penance for forty days for having acted as second in a duel. The exhortations of a lay brother decided him in his determination to give himself entirely to God. Marinus, his master in the monastic life, used often to strike him on the head when he made mistakes in reading his lesson, in order to correct him and exercise him in patience. Instead of complaining or being discouraged the humble novice, who felt that he was losing the hearing of the left ear, which usually received the blows, contented himself with asking his master to strike him on the right ear instead. Marinus, filled with admiration, ceased his rough treatment. Romuald, after having followed the rule of Saint Benedict, saw in a dream, in the desert, a ladder on which angels ascended and descended. This was a figure of the Camaldolese hermits, of which God wished him to become the founder. They wear, like the sons of Saint Dominic, a white habit, the symbol of their purity of life; they combine the exercises of the eremitic life with those of the cenobite and by their austerities recall the lives of the Fathers of the Thebaid. Those who are the most advanced in contemplation are even allowed to live entirely as recluses. The great king, Saint Henry, had a great admiration for the virtues of Saint Romuald, who died at the age of nearly one hundred and twenty years (1027).


O my God, I can never be reprehended as much as I deserve.


According to Blessed Humbert, those are the most loved who are the most harshly reprimanded, as in the words of Holy Scripture, “Those I love I not only rebuke, but chastise.” (Apocalypse 3:19) Is it in this spirit that you receive or give corrections?