You will be my witnesses

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

 You will be my witnesses 
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

In 1240, seven noblemen from Florence decided to withdraw from the city that was torn by political strife and dealing with the heresy of the Carhari (who believed that physical reality was inherently evil) and lead a life of penance and prayer.  They were all inspired by a vision of Mary on the feast of the Assumption to take up a life of solitude and prayer.

 “On Friday, April 13, 1240, the hermits received a vision of Our Lady. She held in her hand the black habit, and a nearby angel bore a scroll reading Servants of Mary.   Mary told them,

You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.”

Under the direction of a Dominican, St. Peter of Verona, OP.  they withdrew to  the deserted slopes of Monte Senario, adopted the Rule of St. Augustine and the name of the Servants of Mary.The particular object of the order is to sanctify first its own members, and then all men through devotion to the Mother of God, especially in her desolation during the Passion of her Divine Son.

Each of the Seven Founders was separately canonized as a saint and each has his own feast day; however, February 17th is the common celebration for the order.

Because this feast falls in lent, we might want to pray
the Seven Sorrows Rosary
reflecting on the seven sorrows of Mary:

• The prophecy of Simeon
• The flight into Egypt
• The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple
• The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the cross
• The crucifixion
• The taking down of the body of Jesus from the cross
• The burial of Jesus. 

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