All do rejoice there in God

St. Bernard speaking of the beauty of God (which the holy saints have passed their times here in penance do now continually behold) saith: all do rejoice there in God, because in sight he is most worthy to be desired, in face most beautiful and sweet to enjoy, by himself he pleaseth, by himself he is sufficient for reward, nothing is sought for out of him, and in him alone is all things that can be desired. This holy saints, having declared the beauty of God himself, showeth in like sort the excellence of his kingdom and saith: there is true joy, full knowledge, all beauty and bliss, there is peace, goodness, light, virtue and honesty, joy, mirth, sweetness, true love and what good and pleasant thing soever can be thought is there superabundantly found.… — from A Treatise of Penance with an Explication of the Rule and Manner of Living of the Brethren and Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, 55-67.

William Stanney (d. 1626) was a Franciscan friar of the Order of Friar Minors (OFM), one of the most persecuted orders in England during the Protestant Revolt during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. During the time of persecution, with the help of Friar William, the commissary for England at the time, the Franciscans were able to launch a concerted mission in England after the founding of St. Bonaventure’s College in Douai in 1618 — the same year that Stanney published his very Catholic Treatise on Penance, a field guide for missionaries bound for England — and almost certainly their deaths.

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