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St. Dominic Resurrects the Cardinal’s Nephew

Sister Cecilia, OP
Note: Sister Cecilia was only 17 years of age when she received her Dominican habit from St. Dominic at Rome and witnessed the foundation of the Convent of San Sisto. Later in life, she dictated her personal recollections of the Holy Founder to Sister Angelica, which is the origin of the Miracles, from which this legend was taken. This miraculous resurrection was also recorded by Blessed Jordan of Saxony, who followed St. Dominic as Superior of the Order.

Pope Honorius of holy memory commissioned Dominic to assemble all the nuns scattered in monasteries throughout the city and establish them in the Convent of San Sisto, which was then being repaired. To accomplish this great task, Blessed Dominic requested that a few others suitable to himself be assigned to help him.

Accordingly, the Pope assigned as his companions Bishop Ugolino of Ostia, who later became Pope, and Lord Cardinal Stephen of Fossa Nuova, and Lord Cardinal Nicholas of Tusculum. They were to help him as need arose.

san sisto domenican sisters

St. Dominic & the Cardinals leads the first Sisters to the Convent of San Sisto

From the beginning, all the nuns opposed the plan and absolutely refused to obey the Pope and Blessed Dominic in this matter. The one exception was the Abbess of St. Mary in Tempulo and her nuns, all but one of whom offered themselves to Blessed Dominic with all the possessions and revenues that belonged to their monastery.

Thereupon Blessed Dominic, with the approval of the Cardinals who were his companions, ordered that on the first day of Lent, after the imposition of ashes, all were to assemble at the House of San Sisto, so that in their presence and that of all her nuns, the Abbess could resign her office and yield all the rights of their monastery to him and his companions.

When Blessed Dominic and the three Cardinals took their seats and the Abbess, along with her nuns, stood before them, a man rode up pulling his hair and crying loudly: "Alas! alas!" When he was asked what was his trouble, he answered: "The nephew of Cardinal Stephen has fallen from his horse and is dead." The nephew's name was Napoleon.

When his uncle, the Cardinal, heard this, he fell backwards prostrate with grief before Blessed Dominic. Then, as the others supported him, Blessed Dominic arose and blessed him with holy water.

.miracle of the Cardinal's nephew

After falling from his horse, Napoleon is restored to life by St. Dominic

Leaving them, he went to the scene, where he found the dead young man horribly crushed and badly lacerated. He had him carried to a house nearby, with instructions to leave him there. Then Dominic told Brother Tancred and the others present to prepare themselves for Mass. Present were Blessed Dominic, the Cardinals and their retinue, and the Abbess with her nuns. Blessed Dominic and the Cardinals held her in high esteem for her sanctity.

Then Blessed Dominic started to say Mass. Coming to the Elevation, he held the Body of the Lord in his hands and was elevating it according to custom, when all were astonished to see Blessed Dominic raised to a height of one foot above the ground.

When Mass was over, he and the Cardinals with their companions, together with the Abbess and her nuns, returned to the body of the dead young man. With his blessed hands he arranged all the crushed and lacerated members from the head to the feet. Then with much groaning, he knelt down to pray near the coffin.

For a second and third time, he repeated the process of arranging the lacerated face and body and then kneeling down to pray. Then, arising, he made a Sign of the Cross over the body and, standing at the head of the corpse, he raised his hands to Heaven and, being himself raised more than a foot from the ground, he shouted with a loud voice: "Young man, Napoleon, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I say to thee, arise."

At once, before the eyes of those who had come to this great spectacle, the youth arose sound and healthy, and said to Blessed Dominic: "Father, give me something to eat."

Then Blessed Dominic gave him food and drink and returned him in gay spirits to his uncle the Cardinal with not even the slightest mark of injury. The young man had been dead from morning to three o'clock in the afternoon.

This very great miracle, as herein described, was related by Sr. Cecilia who was present and observed all the details with her own eyes and ears.


Blason de Charlemagne
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From The Miracles of St. Dominic, narrated by Sister Cecilia, OP
Posted August 12, 2023

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