Blessed Mark of Modena

dogMark was born in Modena and entered the convent of the order there in young manhood. He observed the rules with great fidelity, and became noted both for his learning and his holiness, which is a sentence that would fit into nearly every Dominican biography written, and tells us nothing in particular about Mark as a person. However, when we recall the times in which he lived , it becomes clearer to us that anyone who kept the Dominican Rule in its entirety is truly to our notice . The abuses which stirred Savonarola to thundering speech in the pulpits of Ferrara and Florence could not have been absent from all of Italy. It look solid virtue to hold out against the opulent worldliness of the times, and Mark of Modena apparently did a thorough job of it, since he has been beatified.

Mark was made prior of the convent of Pesaro, and the only miracle we have on record (he is supposed to have performed many) took place at his convent. A woman’s little boy had died, and she pleaded with Mark to restore the child’s life. After praying for awhile, Mark turned to her and said, “Madam, your little boy is in paradise. Do not try to get him back again, for his second loss will be worse than this one.” However, she insisted on his working the miracle, and he did so. The child returned to life, and, ten years later, covered with disgrace and opprobrium, died a second time, leaving his mother in worse grief than ever.

Mark of Modena died in 1498, the year that the city of Florence burned Savonarola at the stake. It was a time of terrible happenings in Italy and all Europe. The people of Modena mourned the death of Mark, and went to pray at his tomb. Many of their needs were answered there, and a number of prodigies were reported in connection with the translation of his relics to the Rosary chapel of the church. The bells were said to have rung by themselves, and sweet perfume filled the air. Until recently, his relics were still exposed yearly for veneration during the week of Whitsunday.

Born: in Modena at the beginning of the 15th century

Died: in at Pesaro in 1498

Beatified: by Pope Pius IX in 1857

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