Saturday, April 2, 2016

April 2: Saint Francis of Paola

Francis was born around the year 1416, at Paola, a small city in Calabria. Educated by the Franciscans, he lived as a solitary about a half mile from Paola. He was eventually joined by two companions, and he built three cells and a chapel, in which the local priest would say Mass for them. This is regarded as the foundation for the Order of Friars Minims. In 1454, Francis constructed the new community’s first monastery, and their Rule of Life was approved by Pope SixtusIV in 1474. Francis soon established monasteries in Germany, France, and Spain. 

Following the example of his patron, Saint Francis of Assisi, Francis was never ordained a priest and he was credited with a number of miracles, even during his life. Although none of his own words have survived, we know that he was completely devoted to solitude and self-denial, and that he had a special devotion to the Passion of Christ and the Mother of God.  In 1506, he wrote a Rule for nuns and accepted lay people as Third Order members. 

Saint Francis of Paola died on Good Friday, April 2, 1507. Regarded as one of the greatest miracle-workers of his day, he was canonized in 1519. 

The mission that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles in today’s Gospel is the same mission that has been entrusted to every member of the Church: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Those whom we honor as saints—including Saint Francis of Paola—allowed this mission to be the focus of their lives and labors.

Pray today for the grace to be an “apostle” in your family and community. Ask Saint Francis of Paola to help you discern how to best fulfill this mission in your life.

Prayer +
O God, exaltation of the lowly,
who raised Saint Francis of Paola to the glory of your Saints,
grant, we pray, that by his merits and example
we may happily attain the rewards promised to the humble.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

This post was originally written for www.aletiea.org and published on their site on April 2, 2016.
 

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