Today we celebrate Seven Founders of the Order of Servites

These seven men were born in Florence, Italy and led lives as hermits on Monte Senario. They had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On Friday, April 13, 1240, the hermits received a vision of Our Lady. She held in her hand a black habit, and a nearby angel bore a scroll reading "Servants of Mary."

Mary told them:

"You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.

They accepted the wisdom of Our Lady, wrote a Rule based on Saint Augustine and the Dominican Constitutions, adopted the black habit of an Augustinian monk, and lived as mendicant friars. The men founded the Order of Servites which in 1304 received the approval of the Holy See.

They are venerated on Feb. 17 because it is said to be the day on which Saint Alexis Falconieri, one of the seven, died in 1310.

All seven were beatified December 1, 1717 by Pope Clement XI  and canonized in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII.


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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]