Dominican Saints 101: St. Antoninus
May 9, 2012
St. Antoninus of Florence (1389-1459, feast – May 10) was an eminent pastor. He was so well respected during his life that Pope Nicholas V, who canonized St. Bernadine of Siena, said that he thought Antoninus, even while Antoninus was still alive, was equally worthy of canonization. His pastoral skills come out in three particular areas: counsel, generosity to the poor, and teaching. Firstly, St. Antoninus had been especially blessed with the gift of counsel. Because of this, he was even known as the “Angel of Counsels.” Princes and prelates would turn to him for advice. He was sought out to bring peace to warring groups. He was so respected in this regard that Pope Nicholas V even forbade appeals to be made against sentences passed by Antoninus. Secondly, Antoninus was known to be extremely generous to the poor. Having been trained to understand the vow of poverty by Bl. John Dominici and Bl. Lawrence of Rippafratta, and making his novitiate with Bl. Peter Capucci and Bl. Fra Angelico, Antoninus maintained a life of simplicity even as a bishop. Whatever he had was just as much the property of the poor as it was his own. Finally, he was an eminent teacher. He penned great works of theological importance, especially his Summa Theologica Moralis which served as an immensely helpful aid to pastors and confessors. Moreover, he took his teaching office seriously, establishing Confraternities of Christian Doctrine in Florence to educate the youth. May we be helped, Lord, by the merits of your holy confessor and bishop, Antoninus, that as we make known your wonders in him, we may also rejoice at your mercies to us. Through Christ our Lord.