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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blessed Reginald

This day is the memorial of Bl. Reginald in the traditional calendar
It has been written, very often, that Bl. Reginald is the most mentioned of the early members of the order. He is one of the most distinguished of St. Dominic's early disciples, highly praised by Bl. Jordon of Saxony. From what has been passed down to us, this praise is deserved.

Blessed Reginald was born c. 1180. He was a great student at the University of Paris and became a Doctor of Canon Law. He was held in high esteem. He had a great love for the poor and pronounced humility. Despite these traits and his personal distate of ambition, he became a religious of note when recommended for the post of dean for the canons at Saint Aignan's in Orleans. As Dean he showed himself as a great Christian Model.

In his desire to better emulate the Apostles, he sought out St. Dominic when both happened to be in Rome to seek out the life he wanted with the new order being formed.

It was during this meeting in Rome when the well known incident of Bl. Reginal becoming seriously ill and receiving his vision of the Blessed Mother and direction for the new order's habit. After recovering from the illness, he immediatly received the habit from St. Dominic.

From his reception of the habit, his great light seemed to shine so bright as if to burn itself out quickly. He is recorded as being an incredible preacher. St. Dominc sent him to Bologna; when Bl. Reginald arrived, the entire city was flocking to hear him preach! The effect of his preaching in Bologna is said to have reformed hardened sinners and change the entire moral tone of the city. He was noted for his preaching during the day and his fervent prayer at night. It was in a mere 9 months the Order there swelled in size thanks to his great example.

Bl. Reginald's appeal drew all aspects of men: clergy, everyday citizens, students and professors. His success in Bologna was repeated when going back to Paris. It's been stated that Bl. Reginald would have succeeded St. Dominic as Master General of the Order if he had outlived the founder. Bl. Reginald was a mere two years with the new Order when he died in A. D. 1220.

Bl. Reginald serves as relevant an example of the Order and its mission today as when he walked in this world - he fully encompased prayer, study, communtiy and apostlate.

O Beate Reginalde
Summo Regi grains valde,
Qaem amans Regina cœlomm
Proprium visitans thorum,
Ab omni febris languore
Miro euravit dnlcore,
Habitnm dans Prædicatorum,
Expelle febres peccatornm.
Tuis precnm incrementis
Sana febres nostras mentis,
Ut cum coetn supernornm
Cernamus regem angelorum.


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