What are some examples of canonized saints either

  1. educating or disciplining women over insubordination in church matters where a priest or bishop would be expected to be in charge


  1. not tolerating disrespect to the clerical offices?
  • I interpret your question as inquiring about living priests. Consider the last paragraph of ewtn.com/catholicism/library/he-who-hears-you-hears-me-12376 which relates to the second paragraph. It may not be exactly an example of what you are looking for, but it's a start.
    – DDS
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 13:51
  • Of course, there are the Maxims of St. Philip Neri: Let women remain indoors, and look after their families, and not be desirous of going into public. and The devil generally makes use of the weaker sex when he wishes to cause us to fall.
    – DDS
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 17:21
  • Also, with regards to the last maxim, you may want to see pg. 135 of Lanslots, "The Primitive Church" ia802603.us.archive.org/9/items/primitivechurcho0000ilde/… regarding the paragraph, "The Jews, in this instance, ..."
    – DDS
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 17:32
  • @I.Chekhov No, canonized priests.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 17:43
  • 3
    @Geremia here's my valiant attempt at quashing the perception of misogyny, I don't see why the examples would necessarily have to be from priests - I think someone like St. Theresa of Avila might provide a more potent and biting example than any priest.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 0:12

3 Answers 3


I remember to have read this incidence from the biography of Father Damien: During his stay alone in Molocoy islands among lepers, he was visited one cold night by a healthy young woman who told him that she was dying of cold and wanted some warmth. Fr. Damien could easily read her dubious intentions. He neither scolded her, nor did he find any excuse to get rid of her. He calmly led her to the hearth and left the house through the backdoor. Fr. Damien spent the entire cold night in prayer, kneeling over a rock, remembering the Lord who had been kind to women.

  • 2
    PS: This answer had been posted before the Question was edited. It may no more be suited to the question as it stands now. But, my observation on the present question is that it looks like gender- biased. The alleged insubordination or misbehaviour could be from the part of any member of the laity- male or female alike ! Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 3:46
  • Please provide citations. Thanks.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 23:45
  • This is one of the many anecdotes one gets to hear during Sunday homilies or retreats. Sources are not verified. Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 9:23

Girolamo Savonarola, O.P.

Although not a canonized saint (yet…), Girolamo Savonarola, O.P., rebuked a prideful, ostentatious noble lady who interrupted his sermon:

the wife of Giovanni Bentivoglio, ruler of the city, regularly attended the sermons of Savonarola, and always entered the church after the sermon had begun with a great following of noble ladies and courtiers. What with the disturbance she made with her suite and that made by the congregation rising to do her honour, the Friar was obliged to stop, and ‘he lost the force and persuasion of his oratory’. Eventually one morning he quietly asked all the congregation to be punctual at the beginning of the sermon; but she went on in the same way, or worse, and another morning he addressed her personally, politely begging her not to disturb him and his hearers in this way. Finally, the third time, seeing her enter the church one day with much pomp in the middle of the sermon, he shouted out in a terrible voice : ‘Here is the devil, here is the devil, come to disturb the word of God!’ At this insult, the proud noblewoman is said to have ordered two of her guards to slay him in his pulpit. Then, as these two did not dare to commit such sacrilege, she sent two more to the convent; but these, when they came into the presence of this servant of God, merely offered him the help and good graces of their lady.

—Roberto Ridolfi, The Life of Girolamo Savonarola[, O.P.], pp. 59-60

St. Vincent Ferrer, O.P.

St. Vincent very astutely taught a wife how to obey and respect her husband:

One day a woman came to him complaining bitterly of the bad treatment she had to endure from her husband. “Teach me, my good Father,” said she, “an efficacious method of preserving peace at home, in order that my husband may cease to ill-use me both by word and deed.” The Saint allowed her uninterrupted speech, well knowing the cause of the evil for which she sought a remedy; it was only her talkativeness and petulance; she irritated her husband by her chattering and provoking answers. Then the Saint quietly said to her: “If you wish to put an end to these disagreeable scenes, go to the Brother Porter of our convent and bid him give you a jug of water from the well which is in the middle of the cloister. When your husband returns home, take at once a mouthful of this water without swallowing it and retain it for a considerable time in your mouth. If you do this, I assure you that your husband will no more be angry with you and will become as meek as a lamb.” The woman immediately hastened to execute the Saint’s advice, seeing that the remedy was by no means a difficult one. When the husband returned home and began to show symptoms of irritation, she ran to the jug and filled her mouth with water, which she retained as long as she was able, the result being that, meeting with no reply, the husband himself was silent. He wondered at this, but said nothing, and thanked God for having changed the heart and closed the mouth from which proceeded all their disputes. Having put this advice into practice many times, and always with the same success, the woman returned to St. Vincent overflowing with thanks to him for having taught her so excellent a remedy. Then the Saint, speaking to her with sweetness, plainly told her: “The remedy which I have taught you, my daughter, is not the water from the well, as you suppose, but silence. By holding your tongue, you have preserved peace between yourself and your husband. He had scarcely entered the house, when you irritated him by your troublesome questions; it was your own fault if this anger increased; your provoking rejoinders were the cause of it. Be silent in the future, and you will always live in peace with your husband.” Hence the common proverb in Valencia when a woman complained of her husband; she was answered: “Fill your mouth with water, and what St. Vincent said will come to pass.”

—Pradel, Andrew, O.P., St. Vincent Ferrer: Angel of the Judgment, EPUB ref:24.9


St Philip Neri had a lady parish-member who was notorious for gossip. She was good at spreading lies on other parish- members and would not even spare the priests. St Neri asked her to bring a live hen as an offering for certain favour she had asked for. But, there was a piquant condition: she was to walk up to the church with the hen , and was to take out one feather each for every step she took. The lady agreed, and reached the church with the de- feathered hen . St Neri met her at the door, took the hen and asked her to go back and collect all the feathers she had strewn. It was a windy day, and the lady returned empty- handed. St Neri calmly told her : "My dear young woman, gossip is like scattering of feathers on a windy day. You never can retrieve them, nor can you amend them. So, always speak good of others and pray for the poor parish-priests ". Thus, St Neri transformed the evil- tongued lady with a practical example.

  • Please provide citations. Thanks.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 23:45
  • This, again, is one of the anecdotes one gets to hear during Sunday homilies or retreats. Sources are not verified. Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 9:25
  • I've heard this one before. I'm sure there's an original source for it.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 23:56
  • In the days of 'word-to-word media ' people seldom cared for authenticity of the information received. Jesus used phrases like " You have heard it said...." That reinforces the credibility of verbal communications, which has since lost its relevance to a great extent.At the same time, we have become victims of , as they say , " Lies -Blatant lies- Statistics ! " Commented Jul 16, 2023 at 4:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .