Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time & The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order, February 17,2017

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time & The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order, February 17,2017

The seven men who are honored on this date entered the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in Florence from 1225 to 1227 A.D. On the feast of the Assumption, they shared a vision of Mary that led them to seek solitude together in a house outside the city. A second vision of Mary holding black robes, and an angel with a scroll emblazoned with the words “Servants of Mary,” gave them their habit and title. The Rule of Saint Augustine was adopted, and ecclesiastical approval was given in 1304. The Servites, as they came to be called, are especially devoted to the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are one of the five original mendicant orders.


Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, remind always that being your disciple is not primarily about following rules and norms and being religiously observant. Lord, open our hearts to the truth that to be your follower, we need to be firm with our faith and our convictions. Remind us always that doing your work will not be a bed of roses but will always be accompanied by difficulties and suffering. Enable us to accept that oppression, heartaches and suffering can be caused not only by evil tyrants  but such can come from neighbors, co-workers in church, employers, government officials and  even family. We pray this in Your Name. Amen.

Reading 1
Gn 11:1-9

The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.
While the people were migrating in the east, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.” They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.”

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that they had built.
Then the LORD said: “If now, while they are one people, all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do. Let us then go down and there confuse their language, so that one will not understand what another says.” Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth, and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world. It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 33:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

From his fixed throne he beholds
all who dwell on the earth,
He who fashioned the heart of each,
he who knows all their works.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Mk 8:34–9:1

Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

He also said to them, “Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – Whoever would save his life will lose it
‘”If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross and follow in my steps. Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”‘

Whenever I meditate and reflect on today’s gospel I often feel that Jesus is pointing right at me. It brings me back to reality and the truth that keeps on surfacing in my life. In my weakness and brokenness I would normally set it aside and try to hide from the truth which hurts. I often ask the Lord what happened to his other soothing exhortations.

Certainly when Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and I will give You rest!” I felt some comfort and compassion. But when I hear Him say, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” my sinful nature tries to hide the truth from me and I do not want to face the fact they are meant for me. We all know the answer to God’s question, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” but simply is hard to live and abide by it.

What does it really mean to “deny yourself”?  Denying one self is to decisively reject the worldly desires and motivations that spring up from our human and sinful nature.  It implies choosing Jesus and following Him completely without reservation.  Denying one self means being firm in our convictions for God and taking daily steps of obedience to God’s precepts and statutes. It means finding our way into Jesus and allowing Him to transform us to the new person that He wants us to be, the very reason why He died for us on the Cross. It simply means dying to one’s self and pride and allowing His will to prevail.

Denying one self means carrying the cross at hand, forgetting the slanderous accusations of people who find difficulty in seeing God in our work. It is accepting in all humility that the gifts and talents of one’s neighbor are far more superior than ours. To deny one self is to allow one’s heart to be united to the very bosom of His Church, not only during good and joyful days but especially when persecution and trials become dominant. It is to carry one’s cross and to be Christ to all every step of the way even amidst discrimination, jealousy, unfair judgments and treatment.

Lord, I know that You have given me a Cross which I have purposely denied and rejected amidst my weak human nature. Lord you know how much I failed in carrying your cross as I decided to take into my own hands and address the slander some people may have unknowingly inflicted on me as your worker. Lord forgive me for you Word says, ‘Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”’ Romans 12:19

Let me surrender to you my will and as I walk with You, hand in hand.  Guide me and make me strong so that I may be the disciple You have longed me to be. Lord, give me the strength to deny myself and carry your Cross, amidst the attack of the evil one!

We need to deny ourselves of anything that will separate us from God and His people.

Heavenly Father, give me the vision to see the cross that You want me to carry. Let me deny myself of anything that will separate me from You.  In your goodness and love, forgive me as I forgive those who have tried to remove You from my heart.  In Jesus I pray, Amen.

Reflection 2 – Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it

What is the most important investment you can make with your life? Jesus poses some probing questions to challenge our assumptions about what is most profitable and worthwhile. In every decision of life we are making ourselves a certain kind of person. The kind of person we are, our character, determines to a large extent the kind of future we will face and live. It is possible that some can gain all the things they set their heart on, only to wake up suddenly and discover that they missed the most important things of all. Of what value are material things if they don’t help you gain what truly lasts in eternity. Neither money nor possessions can buy heaven, mend a broken heart, or cheer a lonely person.

God gives without measure – we give all we have in return
Jesus asks the question: What will a person give in exchange for his life? Everything we have is an out-right gift from God. We owe him everything, including our very lives. It’s possible to give God our money, but not ourselves, or to give him lip-service, but not our hearts. A true disciple gladly gives up all that he or she has in exchange for an unending life of joy and happiness with God. God gives without measure. The joy he offers no sadness or loss can diminish.

The cross of Christ leads to victory and freedom from sin and death. What is the cross which Jesus Christ commands me to take up each day? When my will crosses with his will, then his will must be done. To know the Lord Jesus Christ is to know the power of his saving death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith to know Jesus personally, power to live the gospel faithfully, and courage to witness to others the joy and truth of the gospel. Are you ready to lose all for Jesus Christ in order to gain all with Jesus Christ?

“Lord Jesus Christ, I want to follow you as your disciple. I gladly offer all that I have to you. Take and use my life as a pleasing sacrifice of praise to your glory.” – Read the source:

Reflection 3 – Follow Me

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. —Mark 8:34

During World War II, B-17 bombers made long flights from the US mainland to the Pacific island of Saipan. When they landed there, the planes were met by a jeep bearing the sign: “Follow Me!” That little vehicle guided the giant planes to their assigned places in the parking area.

One pilot, who by his own admission was not a religious man, made an insightful comment: “That little jeep with its quaint sign always reminds me of Jesus. He was [a lowly] peasant, but the giant men and women of our time would be lost without His direction.”

Centuries after our Savior walked the streets and hills of Israel, the world with all its advances still needs His example and instruction. When His ways aren’t followed, numerous problems and evils arise in our world—including immorality, crime, and greed.

How do we follow Jesus’ ways? First of all, we turn from our sin and entrust our lives to Him as our Savior and Lord. Then, we seek His will in His Word each day and put it into practice by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. We learn to deny our selfish desires and give ourselves completely to following Jesus (Mark 8:34-35).

If you want to get in line with the purposes of God, respond to Jesus’ invitation: “Follow Me!”  — Vernon C. Grounds


To find your way through life, follow Jesus (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 4 – The game of life

There was a man who often talked about “the game of life,” and I can understand why he did. It’s part of human nature to approach life as one big game made up of a lot of little games. Competing can be fun, exciting and stimulating.

But life is a whole lot more than a game – especially for a follower of Jesus Christ. When a believer needs to own the biggest house, drive the largest SUV car, get the promotion first, and win every argument, something’s terribly wrong from God’s point of view. It’s not right to run over people’s feelings, bend or break the rules, and gloat over victories in order to win.

To approach life as one big game that you always have to win is to live in hopeless delusion and fantasy. While material possessions, professional success, and personal victories are enjoyable, they last only for this life. Then they’re all left behind.

Jesus instructed His disciples to deny themselves, identify with His cross, and follow Him in self-denial, and for some that even meant death (Mk 8:34-35). He made it clear to His disciples that artificial victories in “the game of life” don’t count for much. What really counts is what’s done for the Lord.

Whenever we want to follow the Lord we have to reckon seriously with the possibility of encountering the cross. It means that being a disciple of Jesus might become an obstacle for our daily life, or might go against our inclinations and wishes. In these moments the “cross” will appear and we are asked to carry our cross as Jesus carried his. But remember, there is the promise which follows: “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” The cross of Christ leads to victory and freedom from sin and death. Are you ready to lose all for Jesus Christ?

If I have but Jesus, only Jesus

Nothing else in all the world beside

 O then everything is mine in Jesus;

For my needs and more He will provide.

Those who live for God are the real winners in life (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 5 – High on a tower or a cross

In wanting to feel closer to God, we try different ways of reaching him. When it seems our prayers are not being answered, we bargain with him (“God, if I go to Mass every day, maybe then you’ll do something about my request”) or we increase our prayers by adding in novenas or by invoking saints. While there’s nothing wrong with this of course, our motives need to be examined:  Are we really trusting God? Or are we trying to manipulate him?

To feel successful in our spiritual lives, we seek spiritual highs. We want to feel more loved and more cared about. We want to feel so important to God that he’ll grant us miracles. But if we don’t feel his concern on an emotional level, we assume that he’s not yet doing enough to make us happy, and we think that the solution is to “build up” our faith, hoping this will get us closer to the joys of heaven.

The people in today’s first reading wanted that same emotional-spiritual high. To get it, they tried to reach heaven by building the tallest tower that their engineers could conceive. They defined spiritual success as fame, i.e., making a name for themselves that the rest of the world would notice. They thought they could feel heavenly by working together to build a towering accomplishment.

Was their motive really to get closer to God? Literally, yes, it was, but spiritually, no, because they were not seeking an improved relationship with the Lord. They wanted to reach heaven by their own efforts. This motive was very arrogant.

Contrast this to what Jesus says in today’s Gospel reading. We reach heaven by following in Jesus’ footsteps. And where did he climb? Not up a tower. He climbed onto a cross. He built the Kingdom of God in the humility of self-sacrifice and a willingness to suffer for the sake of others.

It doesn’t make sense. And we surely don’t like it. But it’s true: Our greatest accomplishments don’t come from reaching personal heights of success and fame; they happen when we build up other people.

We are at our best when we give love sacrificially. We reach God when we walk on lowly ground to reach those who need help. We experience our biggest spiritual highs when we join Jesus on the cross, which means embracing our hardships as opportunities for serving others, because that’s the only way to a glorious resurrection.

What cross are you nailed to? What hardship have you been forced into? Now here’s the most important question, the one that raises us up in resurrection: How can this cross benefit the Kingdom of God? – Read the source:

Reflection 6 – Seven Founders of the Servite Order (13th century)

Can you imagine seven prominent men of Boston or Denver banding together, leaving their homes and professions, and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the 13th century. The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari, who believed that physical reality was inherently evil. Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless.

In 1240 seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God. Their initial difficulty was providing for their dependents, since two were still married and two were widowers.

Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by constant visitors from Florence. They next withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario.

In 1244, under the direction of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit, choosing to live under the Rule of St. Augustine and adopting the name of the Servants of Mary. The new Order took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the older monastic Orders.

Members of the community came to the United States from Austria in 1852 and settled in New York and later in Philadelphia. The two American provinces developed from the foundation made by Father Austin Morini in 1870 in Wisconsin.

Community members combined monastic life and active ministry. In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.


The time in which the seven Servite founders lived is very easily comparable to the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is “the best of times and the worst of times,” as Dickens once wrote. Some, perhaps many, feel called to a countercultural life, even in religion. All of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centered in Christ.


“Let all religious therefore spread throughout the whole world the good news of Christ by the integrity of their faith, their love for God and neighbor, their devotion to the Cross and their hope of future glory…. Thus, too, with the prayerful aid of that most loving Virgin Mary, God’s Mother, ‘Whose life is a rule of life for all,’ religious communities will experience a daily growth in number, and will yield a richer harvest of fruits that bring salvation” (Vatican II, Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 25).

Read the source:

Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Order of the Servants of Mary
Servants of Mary.png
TYPE Mendicant order
Marian devotional society
HEADQUARTERS Santissima Annunziata Basilica, Florence, Italy

The Servite Order is one of the five original Catholic mendicant orders. Its objects are the sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows. The members of the Order use O.S.M. (for OrdoServorum Beatae Mariae Virginis) as their post-nominal letters. The male members are known asServite Friars or Servants of Mary.

The Order of Servants of Mary (The Servites) is a religious family that embraces a membership of friars (priests and brothers), contemplative nuns, a congregation of active sisters and lay groups.



Amadeus of the Amidei (d. 1266), one of the seven founders of the Servite Order.

The Servites lead a community life in the tradition of the mendicant orders (such as the Dominicans and Franciscans). The Servite Order was founded in 1233 AD, when a group of cloth merchants of Florence, Italy, left their city, families and professions to retire outside the city on a mountain known as Monte Senario for a life of poverty and penance. These men are known as the Seven Holy Founders; they were canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888.[1]

These seven were: Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Amadeus of the Amidei(Bartolomeus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell’ Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sostene), and Alessio de’ Falconieri (Alexius). They belonged to seven patrician families of that city. As a reflection of the penitential spirit of the times, it had been the custom of these men to meet regularly as members of a religious society established in honor of Mary, the Mother of God.[2]

Alexis Falconieri (d. 1310), one of the seven founders of the Servite Order.

From the beginning, the members of the Order dedicated themselves to Mary under her title of Mother of Sorrows.[1] Dedicating their devotion to the mother of Jesus, they adopted Mary’s virtues of hospitality and compassion as the order’s hallmarks.[3] The distinctive spirit of the order is the sanctification of its members by meditation on the Passion of Jesus and the Sorrows of Mary, and spreading abroad this devotion.[4]

The bishop of Florence approved the Friar Servants of Mary as a religious Order sometime between the years 1240 and 1247. The Servants decided to live by the Rule of St. Augustine, and added to the Rule their own expression of Marian devotion and dedication. By 1250 there were a number of Servants who were ordained to the priesthood, thus creating an Order with priests as well as brothers.[5]

Pope Alexander IV, favored a plan for the amalgamation of all institutes following the Rule of St. Augustine. This was accomplished in March 1256, and about the same time a Rescript was issued confirming the Order of the Servites as a separate body with power to elect a general. Four years later a general chapter was convened at which the order was divided into two provinces, Tuscany and Umbria, the former of which St. Manettus directed, while the latter was given into the care of St. Sostene. Within five years two new provinces were added: Romagna and Lombardy.[6]

Suppression and expansion[edit]

St. Philip Benizi was elected general on June 5, 1267, and afterwards became the great propagator of the order.[4] The Second Council of Lyons in 1274 put into execution the ordinance of the Fourth Lateran Council, forbidding the foundation of new religious orders, and suppressed all mendicant institutions not yet approved by the Holy See. In the year 1276 Pope Innocent V in a letter to St. Philip declared the order suppressed. St. Philip proceeded to Rome, but before his arrival there Innocent V had died. His successor lived but five weeks. Finally Pope John XXI, decided that the order should continue as before. It was not definitively approved until Pope Benedict XI issued the Bull “Dum levamus” (February 11, 1304). Of the seven founders, St. Alexis alone lived to see their foundation raised to the dignity of an order. He died in 1310.

Pope Boniface IX granted the Servites the power to confer theological degrees on January 30, 1398, and the order established theMarianum in Rome.[7]

Servite church in Innsbruck,Austria

The new foundation enjoyed considerable growth in the following decades. Even in the thirteenth century there were houses of the order in Germany, France, and Spain. Early in the fourteenth century the order had more than one hundred convents including branch houses in Hungary,Bohemia, Austria, Poland, and Belgium; there were also missions in Crete, the Philippines (St. Peregrine-Philippine Vicariate) and India.

The disturbances during the Protestant Reformation caused the loss of many Servite convents in Germany, but in the south of France the order met with much success. The Convent of Santa Maria in Via (1563) was the second house of the order established in Rome; San Marcello al Corso had been founded in 1369. Early in the eighteenth century the order sustained losses and confiscations from which it has scarcely yet recovered. The flourishing Province of Narbonne was almost totally destroyed by the plague which swept Marseilles in 1720. In 1783 the Servites were expelled from Prague and in 1785 EmperorJoseph II desecrated the shrine of Maria Waldrast. Ten monasteries were suppressed in Spain in 1835. A new foundation was made at Brussels in 1891.

After the Risorgimento in 1870, the government of Italy closed the Marianum along with many other papal institutions. The institute was re-founded as the College of Sant Alessio Falcioneri in 1895.

At this period the order was introduced into England and America, chiefly through the efforts of Fathers Bosio and Morini. The latter, having gone to London in 1864 as director of the affiliated Sisters of Compassion, obtained charge of a parish from Archbishop Manning in 1867. His work prospered; besides St. Mary’s Priory at London, convents were opened at Bognor Regis (1882) and Begbroke (1886). In 1870 Fathers Morini, Ventura, Giribaldi, and Brother Joseph Camera, at the request of Bishop Joseph Melcher of Green Bay, Wisconsin, took up a mission in America, at Neenah. Father Morini founded atChicago (1874) the monastery of Our Lady of Sorrows. A novitiate was opened at Granville, Wisconsin, in 1892. The American province was formally established in 1908.

Twentieth century[edit]

The order continued to expand geographically throughout the twentieth century, taking responsibility for missions in Swaziland in 1913, Acre in Brazil in 1919, Aisén, Chile in 1937, and Zululand in South Africa. It also made foundations in Argentina from 1914 and more solidly since 1921; Transvaal in South Africa since 1935,Uruguay 1939, Bolivia 1946, Mexico 1948, Australia 1951,[8][9] Venezuela 1952, Colombia 1953, India 1974, Mozambique 1984, Philippines 1985, Uganda, Albania1993, and also the refoundations in Hungary (Eger) and the Czech Republic.[10]

Pope Pius XII, through the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities, elevated the Marianum to a pontifical theological faculty on 30 November 1950.

After the Second Vatican Council, the order renewed its Constitutions starting with its 1968 general chapter at Majadahonda, Madrid, a process which was concluded in 1987. In the same year, Prior General Michael M. Sincerny oversaw the creation of the International Union of the Servite Family (UNIFAS).[10]

The twentieth century also saw the beatification (1952) and the canonization of Friar Antonio Maria Pucci, the canonization of Clelia Barbieri (d. 1870), foundress of the Minime dell’Addolorata, the beatification of Ferdinando M. Baccilieri of the Servite Secular Order (1997), and the beatification of Sr. Maria Guadalupe Ricart Olmos (2001), a Spanish cloistered nun who was martyred during the Spanish Civil War, the beatification of Cecelia Eusepi of the Servite Secular Order .

Through the centuries, the Servite Order has spread throughout the world, including all of Europe, parts of Africa, Australia, the Americas, India and the Philippines. The general headquarters of the Servite Order is in Rome, while many provinces and motherhouses represent the Order throughout the world. In the United States there is one province of friars with headquarters in Chicago; there are four provinces of sisters with motherhouses in Wisconsin, Nebraska and two in Illinois.[1]

Devotions, manner of life[edit]

Ceiling in the Servite mother church, Santissima Annunziata, Florence

In common with all religious orders strictly so called, the Servites make solemn vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. 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.

The Servites give missions, have the care of souls, or teach in higher institutions of learning. The Rosary of the Seven Dolors is one of their devotions, as is also the Via Matris.

The fasts of the order are Advent, Lent, and the vigils of certain feasts.

All offices in the order are elective and continue for three years, except that of general and assistant-generals which are for six years.

Canonized Servite saints are: St. Philip Benizi (feast day on August 23), St. Peregrine Laziosi (May 4), St. Juliana Falconieri(June 19). The seven founders of the order were canonized in 1888, and have a common feast day on 17 February. The date first assigned to this feast day was 11 February, the anniversary of the canonical approval of the order in 1304. In 1907 this date was assigned to the celebration ofOur Lady of Lourdes and the feast day of the Seven Holy Founders was moved to 12 February. In accordance with liturgical tradition, the date was changed in 1969 to the anniversary of the death of one of them, Alexis Falconieri, which occurred on 17 February 1310.[11]

Affiliated associations[edit]

Connected with the first order of men are the cloistered nuns of the second order, which originated with converts of St. Philip Benizi. These sisters have monasteries in Spain, Italy, England, the Tyrol, and Germany.

The Mantellate, is a third order of women founded by Juliana Falconieri, to whom St. Philip gave the habit in 1284. From Italy it spread into other countries of Europe. The Venerable Anna Juliana, Archduchess of Austria, founded several houses and became a Mantellate herself. In 1844 it was introduced into France, and was thence extended into England in 1850. The sisters were the first to wear the religious habit publicly in that country after the so-called Reformation and were active missionaries under Father Faber and the Oratorians for many years. This branch occupies itself with active works. They devote themselves principally to the education of youth, managing academies and taking charge of parochial schools and workrooms. They also undertake works of mercy, such as the care of orphans, visiting the sick, and instructing converts, etc.[4]They have houses in Italy, France, Spain, England, and Canada. In the United States they are to be found in the dioceses of Sioux City, Omaha, and Belville, NC, and Blue Island, IL.
There is also a confraternity of the Seven Dolours, branches of which may be erected in any church.

The Secular Order of the Servants of Mary (Servite Secular Order) is a Catholic organization of lay men and women plus diocesan priests living their Christian faith in the context of the world. They strive toward holiness according to the spirituality of the Servite Order, following the directives of their Rule of Life. Secular Servites are asked to do the following each day: live the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love; pray and try to read Sacred Scripture each day, and/or the Liturgy of the Hours; practice acts of reverence for the Mother of God daily, especially by praying the Servite prayer “The Vigil of Our Lady” and/or the Servite Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.[2]

Mariology and the Marianum[edit]

The Pontifical institute Marianum which is now one of the leading centers of Mariology traces its roots to the Servite Order. In 1398 Pope Boniface IX, granted the order the right to confer theological degrees and in 1895 the school reopened under the name Sant Alessio Falcioneri.

In 1939 Father Gabriel Roschini OSM founded the journal Marianum and directed it for thirty years. In 1950, he founded the Marianum Theological Faculty, which, on December 8, 1955 became a Pontifical faculty by Decree Coelesti Honorandae Reginae of the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities under the authority of Pope Pius XII.[12]

Servites of distinction[edit]

Antonio Maria Pucci (1819-1892).

Ten members have been canonized and several beatified.

A few of the most distinguished members are here grouped under the heading of that particular subject to which they were especially devoted; the dates are those of their death.

Sacred Scripture: Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (1600), commentary in five volumes.

Theology: Gabriel Roschini (1924).

History and Hagiography. Raphael Maffei (1577); Paolo Sarpi (1623); Philip Ferrari (1626);

Painters; Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (Angelus Montursius) (1563), architect and sculptor, among whose works are the Neptune of Messina, the arm of Laocoon in the Vatican, and the Angels on the Ponte Sant’ Angelo.

Institutions and schools[edit]

Gallery of Servite churches[edit]

See also[edit]