Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 8 February

Saint John of MathaSaint John of Matha and Saint Felix of Valois, Founders of the Trinitarian Order

John of Matha was born at Faucon, in Provence, and showed himself from his earliest childhood so humble that he considered himself born to wash the feet of others. On the day of his ordination, when the bishop said at the imposition of hands: “Receive the Holy Ghost,” a fiery radiance was seen upon his head. God prepared him by three years of contemplation in the desert to found, with Saint Felix of Valois, the Order of the Trinity for the redemption of captives. France was the cradle of this new Institute, which at first Innocent III hesitated to approve. But during the elevation at Mass he saw an angel clothed in the habit of this Order (that is, a white habit with a red and blue cross), with his arms crossed and holding by each hand a slave, one a Christian, the other a Moor, as if offering one in exchange for the other. At this sign from Heaven the Pope gave his consent. Felix of Valois died in 1212, after having founded many hospitals and religious houses. Saint John of Matha died in Rome, to the last exhorting his sons to perseverance (1213). Saint Dominic was among his friends and admirers. Had not he himself, while yet a young student, offered himself to slavery to ransom a captive and restore him to his mother? Later on the Friars Preachers defended the Trinitarian Order against powerful opposition.

Prayer

Where should I be today, O my Jesus, if thou hadst not redeemed me by Thy blood?

Practice

Pray for prisoners who are tempted to hatred towards those who have punished them, or to discouragement on account of their dishonor.