Monday, 2 April 2018

# Saints

Saint Francis of Paola

Saint Francis of Paola, in an engraving by Marco Pitteri, after Federiko Benković

The 2nd of April is the feast day of Saint Francis of Paola (27 March 1416 – 2 April 1507). He is also known as Francesco di Paola or Saint Francis the Fire Handler. He was an Italian mendicant friar and he founded the Order of Minims. He was never ordained a priest.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

AT the age of fifteen Francis left his poor home at Paula in Calabria, to live as a hermit in a cave by the sea-coast. In time disciples gathered round him, and with them, in 1436, he founded the “Minims,” so called to show that they were the least of monastic Orders. They observed a perpetual Lent, and never touched meat, fish, eggs, or milk. Francis himself made the rock his bed; his best garment was a hair-shirt, and boiled herbs his only fare. As his body withered his faith grew powerful, and he “did all things in Him Who strengthened him.” He cured the sick, raised the dead, averted plagues, expelled evil spirits, and brought sinners to penance. A famous preacher, instigated by a few misguided monks, set to work to preach against St. Francis and his miracles. The Saint took no notice of it, and the preacher, finding that he made no way with his hearers, determined to see this poor hermit and confound him in person. The Saint received him kindly, gave him a seat by the fire, and listened to a long exposition of his own frauds. He then quietly took some glowing embers from the fire, and closing his hands upon them unhurt, said, “Come, Father Anthony, warm yourself, for you are shivering for want of a little charity” Father Anthony, falling at the Saint’s feet, asked for pardon, and then, having received his embrace, quitted him, to become his panegyrist and attain himself to great perfection. When the avaricious King Ferdinand of Naples offered him money for his convent, Francis told him to give it back to his oppressed subjects, and softened his heart by causing blood to flow from the ill-gotten coin. Louis XI. of France, trembling at the approach of death, sent for the poor hermit to ward off the foe whose advance neither his fortresses nor his guards could check. Francis went by the Pope’s command, and prepared the king for a holy death. The successors of Louis showered favors on the Saint, his Order spread throughout Europe, and his name was reverenced through the Christian world. He died at the age of ninety-one, on Good Friday, 1507, with the crucifix in his hand, and the last words of Jesus on hiss lips, “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

Reflection.—Rely in all difficulties upon God. That which enabled St. Francis to work miracles will in proportion do wonders for yourself, by giving you strength and consolation.

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

July 2, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, I am the mother of all of you and, therefore, do not be afraid because I hear your prayers. I know that you seek me and that is why I am praying to my Son for you, my Son, who is united with the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit - the Paraclete - my Son who leads souls to the Kingdom from where He came, the Kingdom of peace and light. My children, you are given the freedom to choose, but, as a mother, I implore you to choose the freedom for the good. You, with pure and simple souls comprehend - even if sometimes you do not understand the words - and within yourselves you feel what the truth is. My children, do not lose the truth and true life so as to follow the false one. By life in truth, the Kingdom of Heaven enters into your hearts, and that is the Kingdom of peace, love and harmony. Then, my children, there will not be the selfishness which distances you from my Son. There will be love and understanding for your neighbors. Because, remember, again I repeat to you, to pray also means to love others, your neighbors, and to give yourself to them. Love and give in my Son, and then He will work in you and for you. My children, ceaselessly think of my Son and love Him immeasurably and you will have true life, and that will be for eternity. Thank you, apostles of my love.

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