Humble Tasks

St. Mary Magdalen di Pazzi willingly occupied herself in laborious tasks; and the lower and meaner they were, with the more pleasure and readiness did she accomplish them. The same thing was done by St. Aloysius Gonzaga.

The blessed Alessandro Sauli, Bishop of Aleria, a man of learning, and esteemed in his Order, willingly occupied himself, even when he was Superior, in humble employments, such as sweeping the house, washing the dishes, drawing water, bringing wood to the kitchen, working in the garden, serving the old and the sick, carrying heavy burdens on his back, taking charge of the door, ringing the bells, or helping the sacristan. When, on account of preaching or other spiritual works, he was at any time prevented from performing these daily exercises, he was accustomed to supply the omission by doing double work on the next day.

St. Camillus de Lelli was also remarkable in this way. When he was Superior General of his Order, he was often seen serving in the refectory, washing dishes in the kitchen, carrying the cross, and sometimes even the coffin, at funerals, and going about Rome with a wallet on his shoulders, begging bread; though he was blamed for it by some great nobles and cardinals who were his friends and happened to meet him in the streets in this guise.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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