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Three Catholic Reformers: of the Fifteen Century

Three Catholic Reformers: of the Fifteen Century

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  • ISBN-13: 9781482787276
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Mar 16, 2013
  • Pages: 246 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.56 x 9.0 x 6.0 inches


This work comprises the lives of Saint Vincent Ferrer, who lived during the Western Schism, Saint Bernadine of Sienna and Saint John Capistran also known as San Juan Capistrano. Of Saint Vincent Ferrer we read: “Two circumstances however proved to Constance that there was something unusual about the child she was going to bring forth. One was the entire absence of the physical suffering which she had experienced in other pregnancies; the other, that, strange as it may seem, she often heard a sound like the barking of a dog proceed from her womb. This last sign was interpreted as. betokening the coming of a great and holy preacher, for, as the Bishop of Valencia remarked to her, a dog is a not inadequate image of a preacher.” The following story is instructive: “A tavern keeper came to beg the support of his preaching on the duty of paying debts, for the man had sold some wine on credit and could not get his money. 'Very good,' answered the Saint, 'I shall say how guilty those people are who keep their neighbour's goods. But I should like to know what sort of wine it is that you sell.' The publican fetched a bottle, saying, 'Taste and see how good it is.' 'Pour some of it on my scapular.' 'But I shall spoil it,' replied the man, perhaps m some trepidation. 'That is my affair. Do as I tell you.' To the publican's great astonishment the bottle produced wine and water: the wine fell on to the ground, whilst the water remained on the scapular. Then Vincent remonstrated strongly with the man for his unjust adulteration, and the publican, touched with contrition, made good his cheating, and entered the Saint's company.” Of Saint Bernadine of Sienna we read: “THERE was more than an ordinary connection between St. Vincent Ferrer and the Saint who shares with St. Catherine the patronage of the city of Siena. In 1408,1 that is in the tenth year of his own ministry, when the great Spanish Apostle was preaching at Alexandria in Lombardy, he foretold that his mantle should descend upon one who was then listening to him, and he bequeathed to this Eliseus those parts of Italy which his ardent voice was not to reach. 'Know, my children,' these were the words of his prophetical spirit, 'that there is amongst you a religious of. St. Francis, who will shortly become famous throughout Italy.” The wisdom of Saint Bernadine can be seen in the following: “Obedience and silent communings with God were his rest, the oasis of his ministry, for there is an absence of hurry, a calmness about the occupations of the busiest saints which is not one of the least marks of holiness. They made unto themselves inner lives independent of outward circumstances, so that when God saw well to alter these, or even to take away what might seem to be the daily bread of their working faculties, they proved happiness to be distinct from all this, and realized the observation of a great thinker, who says that it is in us and in God.” Let us consider this question: “IT is a question which admits of a variety of judgments amongst Catholics whether God shows greater love for a soul when He causes it to be born in the true faith, or when He seeks it out in the darkness of heresy and brings it to the knowledge of Himself as the true Light The same sort of question applies to vocations. Is it more blessed for the soul by, as it were, a spontaneous and uniform growth of holiness, which is itself the gift of God, to make choice of Him, or to be singled out as the object of a special predilection by His breaking in with loving violence upon a course of previous indifference or worldiness?” And then we come to Saint John Capistran: “St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Bernardine of Siena were both marked with their vocation from their earliest years of reason, but St. John Capistran was one of those to whom God vouchsafed to do violence. His natural character made him a hero, his correspondence with unusual grace made him a saint.”

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