March 19th - Blessed Clement of Dunblane
- From: "Hildi" <hildigard8@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 10:09:27 -0600
March 19th - Blessed Clement of Dunblane, OP (AC)
Died 1256-58. One of the pioneers about whom we hear little is the colorful
and resourceful Bishop Clement of Dunblane, who received his habit from
Saint Dominic's hands and introduced the Dominicans as he preached in
Scotland. The monasteries he founded within a few years of the beginning of
the Dominican Order served the Church well, and the Church annals are
begemmed with the names of the people who made history in that interesting
We read the names of Robert Bruce and Lord Douglas on the rolls of
benefactors of the Blackfriars. James Beaton, archbishop of Saint Andrews,
fled for sanctuary to the Dominican church in 1517; and in 1554, John Knox
was called to give an account of his strange doctrines in the Blackfriars
Church of Edinburgh.
Clement was Scottish by birth, and having met Saint Dominic at the
University of Paris and being received into the order, he was vocal and
active in bringing the friars to his homeland. Tradition holds that the
Scottish king, Alexander II, in Paris on a diplomatic mission, made a
personal appeal to Saint Dominic for missionaries. It is an historical fact
that this monarch was their first benefactor when the mission band at last
arrived, shortly after Dominic's death.
The priory in the lovely, seaside town of Ayr was founded in 1230, and seven
other large houses soon followed. There is record of transactions with the
rulers of the region at this time, and, a few years later, King Robert Bruce
granted the Dominicans the privilege of grinding their grain at his mill.
Clement was appointed bishop of Dunblane in 1233, by Pope Gregory IX, a
devoted friend of Saint Dominic. He worked in this see for 23 years, and,
according to an old record, he "labored with unflagging zeal to uproot
superstition and destroy vice, to make true and solid piety known and
practiced, and to draw the faithful entrusted to his charge to the imitation
of all the virtues of Christian perfection, as he himself fulfilled al the
duties of a watchful and loving pastor"-a description of a bishop that can
hardly be bettered. He is described as being poor himself, and the father of
the poor, and all the old writers speak of his zeal in restoring the ruined
churches and the neglected rights of the Church.
According to surviving records, he must have been a busy man, this rugged
missionary in an equally rugged land. He rebuilt Dunblane Cathedral, visited
tirelessly among the outlying regions of his diocese, setting things in
order, and solicited most of the funds for reconstruction himself. He was
appointed on several papal commissions, once to inquire into the heroic
virtues of Margaret of Scotland, another time to determine the validity of a
bishop's appointment. He was sent to collect alms for the Holy Land in 1247,
at a time when he badly needed the money to rebuild his own diocese.
Through his influence, the episcopal see was transferred from the Isle of
Iona, which was frequently inaccessible and always in danger from stormy
seas, to a place where it could be readily in touch with the rest of
Scotland. He attended the general chapter of the Order held in London in
1250. At one time he had to pronounce a sentence of excommunication on all
those who had tried to murder the king.
In spite of these varied and absorbing labors, we are interested to find
that he wrote at least three books: a life of Saint Dominic, a book on
pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and the history of the Dominican Order in
When Clement died, he left a legacy of personal holiness so great that even
a Protestant historian would say of him: "This man was an excellent
preacher, learned above many of that time, and of singular integrity of
conversation" (Benedictines, Dorcy).
31. But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is
thine. 32. But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this
thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
In honor of Saint Joseph, Protector of the Church, a prayer:
O glorious Saint Joseph, chosen by God to be the foster-
father of Jesus, the chaste spouse of Mary ever Virgin, the
head of the Holy Family and then appointed by the Vicar of
Christ to be the heavenly patron and defender of the Church
founded by Jesus, most confidently do I implore at this
moment thy powerful aid for all the Church militant on earth.
Do thou shield with thy truly paternal love especially the
Supreme Pontiff and all the Bishops and priests who are in
union with the Holy See of Peter. Be the defender of all who
labor for souls amidst the trials and tribulations of this life,
and cause all the peoples of the earth to submit themselves in
a docile spirit to that Church which is the ark of salvation for
Be pleased also, dear Saint Joseph, to accept this dedication
of myself which I now make unto thee. I dedicate myself
which I now make unto thee, that thou mayest ever be my
father, my patron and my guide in the way of salvation.
Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent devotion to
the interior life. Grant that, following thine example, I may
direct all my actions to the greater glory of God, in union
with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the immaculate heart of
Mary and in union with thee. Finally pray for me that I may
be a partaker in the peace and joy which were thine at the
hour of thy holy death. Amen.
Traditional indulgence of 500 days.
Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbp of New
York, May 30, 1951.
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