Dominican Saints 101: Bl. Sebastian Maggi

December 16, 2012

Bl. Sebastian Maggi (ca. 1414-1496, feast – Dec. 16) is possibly best known for his connection to Girolamo Savonarola.  Bl. Sebastian was his confessor and had such great faith in Savonarola that he even appointed him Novice Master when Savonarola was only 29 and had only completed his own novitiate seven years earlier. Unfortunately, when Bl. Sebastian is known in in this regard, sight of his heroic virtues can be lost.  He was known, just like Holy Father Dominic, to be severe on himself but merciful to his brethren.  He took on great mortifications, even from his earliest days in the Order, and when he was prior in Lodi, he had the brethren beg their daily food.   He was extremely faithful to attending choir and the common meals. Moreover, with regard to mercy, he was known to say:

When you have committed a fault, come to me, not as Prior, but as your father.  If you will not have me as a father, you will find me a severe judge.

Because of his great mercy, he was even known to try and conceal the faults of his brethren when they came to him of their own accord and admitted their guilt.  This is surely a sign of sanctity in someone who was also known to keep the rule very strictly himself, which Bl. Sebastian was known to do. May he be an example of fidelity to our state in life and mercy when we or others fall on the path to holiness. O God, who made blessed Sebastian, thy confessor, wonderful for his singular zeal in the practice of regular discipline and evangelical perfection, mercifully grant that, following his example, we may be mortified in the flesh and quickened in the spirit, and so attain to everlasting rewards.  Through Christ our Lord.

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