Daily Martyrology for April 4

In 636, at Seville, St. Isidore, bishop and doctor. A great scholar, he received an excellent education and was a prolific and popular author, mainly of histories. He wanted to contribute to the formation of a Catholic, Visigothic culture. He became bishop of Seville after the death of his predecessor and brother, St. Leander (March 13). His aims can be summed up in his advice: “If anyone wants to be always with God, he ought to pray often and to read often as well.” His burial place at Leon, on the route to Compostela, became a popular place of pilgrimage.

In Sicily, in 1589, St. Benedict the Moor. Born of parents who were African slaves, he was given his freedom. He joined a group of Franciscan hermits, became their superior, and when their group was disbanded, joined the Observant Franciscans as a lay brother. He served as a cook, and was appointed superior and novice-master before being allowed to return to his position as a cook.

In 1894, Blessed Joseph Benedict Dusmet, bishop and cardinal. Born in Palermo, he joined the Benedictine monastery of San Martino della Scala, where he had been educated. He was appointed superior of several other monasteries, and became abbot of San Niccolo at Catania. The monastery was suppressed in 1866, and the next year he was appointed archbishop of Catania. He was a supporter of papal infallibility at the First Vatican Council and of the definition of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. He was made a cardinal in 1889. He remained a monk at heart and in his lifestyle, and he was put in charge of founding Sant’ Anselmo. He gave everything he had to the poor.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.