24 February 2010

Blessed Constantius of Fabriano

24 FEBRUARY 2010. Today we celebrate the feast day (optional memorial) of Blessed Constantius of Fabriano, a fifteenth century priest and friar of the Dominican Order.

Blessed Constantius was born in A.D. 1410 at Fabriano, Italy. Known for his piety as a child, Blessed Constantius once led his parents in their fervent prayer at the bedside of his incurably ill sister. Immediately she was restored to health. Even as a child, tradition tells that Blessed Constantius led sinners to repentance through his exhortations of Christ's message.

At the age of 15 Blessed Constantius entered the Dominican convent of Saint Lucy at Fabriano, where he was the spiritual student of Blessed John Dominici, Blessed Laurence of Ripafratta, and Saint Antoninus. Eventually Blessed Constantius rose to the position of Prior of the convent of Saint Lucy and served as prior of two additional convents, Perugia and Ascoli. In the religious life, Blessed Constantius was know for his austere practices and great devotion to prayer. He would regularly recite the office of the dead and often spent great portions of the night in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

On the morning of the Feast of the Assumption in A.D. 1459, Blessed Constantius had a vision of the soul of Saint Antoninus being born, marvelously beautiful, into heaven. This vision was mentioned by Pope Clement VII in the papal bull of canonization for Saint Antoninus. Blessed Constantius was also known for several well regarded miracles. One time, he raised a young man to life who had been dead for two days with the command: "In the name of Jesus Christ, arise." Having at first rebuked Blessed Constantius for addressing the corpse in this way, the raised man's family fell at the feet of Blessed Constantius, who gently prompted them to have faith in our Lord.

Blessed Constantius was also known as a peacemaker for local disturbances and was widely regarded as a saint during his lifetime. Tradition tells that Blessed Constantius habitually wore a look of gentle sadness. When asked why he continually looked this way, the blessed responded: "Alas! I know not whether my actions are pleasing to God or not."

Blessed Constantius died on 24 February 1481. After his death, children ran through the streets saying: "The holy Prior is dead!" He was beatified (cultus confirmed) by Pope Pius VII in A.D. 1811.


God of justice and truth, 
you made Blessed Constantius renowned 
for his unceasing prayer and his zeal for peace. 
By the help of his prayers 
may we walk in the path of justice 
and reach everlasting peace and glory. 
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever.


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