The devotion of the Friars Preachers at mantua during the Divine Office first gave Bl. Matthew the idea of entering the Order. He practiced great austerities; however, he diminished them by obedience. He was especially remarkable for a lively horror of vainglory, which he justly defined as the subtle vice. Vainglory imperceptibly penetrates the soul, and the more one has of it, the less one sees it.
In choir he often seemed as if in ecstasy; at Mass he frequently wept from joy or compunction. The rest of the time, the better to observe silence, he remained in his cells, which he only left to preach. In this ministry, his influence was so great that a young lady named Lucina, unhappily notorious in the country for her scandalous life, was instantly and entirely converted by one of his sermons.
One day, he came across a brigand with a mother and daughter in chains as slaves. Impelled by a feeling of heroic compassion, he offered himself as a slave in exchange to free the women. The man filled with admiration, let go his prey and gave the Blessed his liberty.
His desire of participating in the Passion of Jesus was granted. His heart seemed pierced with a dart, and the sufferings resulting therefrom ended his life, which was already exhausted by his apostolic labors. In his agony, he asked the prior for his consolation, to order him to die by obedience.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, penetrate my heart with contrition, light and love, that self may cease to torment and degrade me.
Practice: Intercede in favor of some oppressed person and pray for prisoners.
Bl. Matthew Carreri, pray for us!
From “Saints and Saintly Dominicans: Daily Reflections on Their Lives”, edited by Rev. Thomas a Kempis Reilly, O.P. (1915).