Monday 26th September 2016

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Of Paola

March 31, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Down in southern Italy, in the year 1416, a loving couple welcomed their son into the world after many years of hoping for children. Their devotion to St. Francis of Assisi was well known as they sought to imitate his great love of poverty and devotion to prayer. Since St. Francis answered their pleas for children, they named their son after him in keeping with the vow they had made.
A few years later the young boy was stricken with a serious illness causing much swelling in his face. The danger of losing his eyesight was very real. Once again the parents prayed to St. Francis of Assisi for his intercession in granting a cure to their son. If he was cured, they vowed that their son would live one year with the Franciscans and wear their habit.
Soon the boy was completely healed. Hence, when he was 13, in keeping their promise, Francis’ parents took him to the Franciscans where he donned their habit and stayed one year with them. This experience left an indelible impression on the young man. He came to cherish the peacefulness of their simple existence, which embraced poverty and prayer.
After returning to his parents, the family — now with two other children — traveled to Rome and Assisi where they visited the church of Portiuncula. This church is the same church where St. Francis founded his order after having received instructions to “rebuild my Church” from God.
In 1432, after returning home, Francis’ parents granted their permission to him — at the age of only 15 — to go and live as a hermit. He lived only on what he could gather in the woods near his cave or on that food which his friends would leave for him. After four years, two others joined him in his cave.
Three cells were then constructed as well as a small chapel where a priest could come and celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the men. This year, 1436, marked the founding of his order. Slowly the order grew so that St. Francis asked for and received permission from the archbishop of Cosenza to call these men the Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi. In 1454 Francis began the construction of a monastery and a large church.
The reputation of the men was so widespread and so favorable that many hands came to lend help in the building of the church and the monastery. Even noblemen carried stones to erect the walls. Those who were injured and unable to help came anyway. The saint obliged by curing them of their lameness.
With the completion of their community buildings, St. Francis set about establishing the regular routine and rules of the group. He still practiced fasting and severe poverty by sleeping only on a board with a stone for a pillow. Their rule was very strict with continuous abstinence from any animal products. His hope was that those many Catholics who no longer observed the penitential practices of Lent would again begin to fast and sacrifice during that holy time.
Francis urged his followers to practice heroic charity as the mark of their order, not only for God but for each other and their fellow citizens. This charity was to be built upon a profound humility, recognizing their nothingness before God. Naturally, or supernaturally, this drew even more people to seek his attention and favor, contrary to his desire for a simple, quiet, humble existence. Like Mary, the Mother of God, the more he was exalted the more humble he became, seeing himself as unworthy of such adulation, giving all glory to God.
Such was his humility and that which he expected from his men that he petitioned the Pope for them to be called the Minims. This would indicate that they were the least among men in reference to St. Luke who quoted our Lord as saying, “He who is greater among you, let him be as the least.”
In 1471 the archbishop of Cosenza approved the rule of the order and Pope Sixtus IV confirmed it on May 23, 1474. Then the building of other houses began with the first being completed in 1476 and another at Spezza. In 1479, he went to Sicily where he established several more houses of Minims. Next he went to Corigliano, where he built yet another house of his Order of Minims in 1480.
St. Francis also became known for his gift of prophecy. In three successive years he predicted the fall of Constantinople to the Turks, which occurred several years later in 1453. In addition he prophesied that Naples would also fall, as it did in the year 1480. Likewise, he predicted that the Christians would recapture their land from the infidels, which they did the following year.
Having heard of the many marvels associated with Francis of Paolo, a messenger of Pope Paul II visited the saint and learned from firsthand experience as well as from many who were intimates of the man of his holiness. The chamberlain of the Pope was greeted by Francis who honored the chamberlain’s 30 years of being a priest, which no one had told Francis.
Their conversation extended into the night as the chamberlain recognized the eloquence of Francis, being a man of similar gifts. Even though he censured Francis for his austere rule, he relented when Francis picked a coal from the fire, held it for some time and remarked, “All creatures obey those who serve God with a perfect heart.” The man returned to the Pope and reported the sanctity of Francis was greater than rumored.
Francis’ reputation for miracles led to a woman begging his intercession for her deceased son. The son was brought back to life and subsequently entered his order, becoming a holy man himself.

Changing The King’s Heart

Even the cantankerous King Louis XI of France demanded that Francis come to him, and cure him, which Francis refused to do since he sought the cure for purely selfish and worldly motives. Louis prevailed upon the king of Naples and finally the Pope, whom Francis obeyed as his superior.
The saint arrived in France and on his way to King Louis, he cured many of the plague but when he met the king he explained that all men have their time set by God. Although he did not render a physical cure, he did change the king’s heart, with the king resigned to his death, dying peacefully in the arms of St. Francis in 1483. His son was so moved by the change wrought by Francis that he built many monasteries for him both in France and in Italy.
On Palm Sunday in 1508, after a two-year illness, Francis died on April 2, urging his confreres to greater love of God. His feast day is celebrated on April 2.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. Mrs. Breslin’s articles have appeared in Homiletic & Pastoral Review and in the Marian Catechist Newsletter. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Donald Trump Names Rick Santorum and Other Top Pro-Life Catholics as Key Advisers

Fresh from announcing a list of pro-life leaders who are advising him on issues that matter to pro-life voters, Donald Trump has named a group of pro-life Catholic leaders as additional key advisers, including pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.…Continue Reading

Argentine bishop threatened with prosecution for condemning ‘culture of fornication’

September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic archbishop of the Argentinean city of La Plata is under investigation by the country’s “discrimination” police for condemning the modern acceptance of sexual promiscuity and “unnatural” unions, according to local media sources. Archbishop…Continue Reading

First minor killed by euthanasia in Belgium after child euthanasia legalized

BELGIUM, September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission confirmed Saturday the country’s first instance of child euthanasia, which became legal in 2014. Belgian media suggested the minor killed via lethal injection was 17. Some media also suggested the…Continue Reading

Donald Trump commits to defunding abortion, Planned Parenthood if elected

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States and to defund the nation’s leading abortion provider. In a new, personally signed letter, Mr. Trump attacked “Hillary Clinton’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another…Continue Reading

Another “Catholic” Politician trying to redefine the Catholic Faith . . . Devout Catholic™ Kaine breaks with his church on gay marriage, with media blessing

Tim Kaine has officially joined the ranks of Devout Catholic™. How do we know? Because he says he’s Catholic, yet criticizes the church. The Democratic vice presidential nominee played weekend prophet and theologian when he told activists in the Human…Continue Reading

Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison

This past weekend the Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin made an announcement of great liturgical importance. Going forward His Excellency will be offering all of his Masses at the Cathedral ad orientem. Make no…Continue Reading

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

phillis

Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded. Schlafly had been an…Continue Reading

Soros’ Catholic useful idiots

By Robert A. Sirico – – Tuesday, August 30, 2016 A most remarkable set of documents was coughed up recently by WikiLeaks. George Soros‘ Open Society Policy Center, it turns out, made donations to two faith-based organizations to the tune…Continue Reading

Pope Francis “gratified” by UN goals that demand “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

Pope Francis has said that he is “gratified” by UN goals that call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and,…Continue Reading

Psychiatrist: The Vatican’s sex ed is the most dangerous threat to youth I’ve seen in 40 years

September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent years, the Catholic Church has been going through one of her most severe crises as a result of the priestly abuse of youth. The primary victims have been adolescent males.1  This worldwide scandal was…Continue Reading

Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will

RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish. “Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

">We May Not Have A Church To Go To . . .

Paul Likoudis (RIP)

Sad news today, we received word that Paul Likoudis, The Wanderer news editor from 1990 to 2014 has died. He lost his battle with colon cancer yesterday, which he had been fighting for over three years. Please pray for the repose of his soul. (The Wanderer will have much more in the days to come).  

500 Catholic scholars lash back at Humanae Vitae critics

Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2016 / 03:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 50 years after the “prophetic” papal document Humanae Vitae, the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching against contraception continues to promote the human good, said a group of Catholic thinkers on Tuesday. “We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document. “Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Tim Kaine: “I Believe Women Should Be Able to” Have an Abortion

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Democratic Vice Presidential pick Tim Kaine, attempted to make his pitch to Millennials by saying that they agree with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform on the big issues. One of the big issues is obviously abortion. Part of what he said was: “Do you believe women should be able to make their own health care decisions, or don’t you? Millennials do, Hillary Clinton and I do, Donald Trump doesn’t.”…Continue Reading

Pope visits neonatal unit, hospice to highlight respect for life

Vatican City, Sep 16, 2016 / 11:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday, Pope Francis visited a neonatal hospital unit and a hospice for the terminally ill, stressing the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. The Sept. 16 visit is the latest in the Pope’s “Mercy Friday” initiatives, to spend time with various groups each month during the Jubilee of Mercy. In previous trips, he has made surprise stops at places including an…Continue Reading

Sex On The Brain

By DONALD DeMARCO The late Malcolm Muggeridge, who, in his later years, had some sensible things to say about human sexuality, lamented that people “have sex on the brain, and that’s an unhealthy place for it to be.” What he meant by this remark was based on his observation that sex, which is a natural…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Bridge Between Abortion And Euthanasia

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Speaking at a conference of the Hemlock Society — an organization whose primary…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… At The Hour Of Our Death

By JAMES MONTI The onset of autumn has deeper lessons to offer than merely the return of students to their classrooms for another semester of studies. Our Lord Himself told us to derive spiritual instruction from even the change of seasons when He compared the budding of leaves on the fig tree that presage summer…Continue Reading

Last Chance For The “Deplorables”

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Speaking to 1,000 of the overprivileged at an LGBT fundraiser, where the chairs ponied up $250,000 each and Barbra Streisand sang, Hillary Clinton gave New York’s social liberals what they came to hear. “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” smirked Clinton…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Limitless Wisdom Of The Parables

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Hints of Heaven: The Parables of Christ and What They Mean for You, by Fr. George Rutler (Sophia Institute Press: Manchester, NH, 2014), 151 pp.; $14.95. Available through www.SophiaInstitute.com or 1-800-888-9344. A collection of short meditations on the 24 parables that appear in the Gospel, this book relates these stories to the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

What Is Faith?… Is Faith Necessary For Salvation?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM For most of us who are cradle Catholics, it is not difficult to believe, since we received the theological virtue of faith in Baptism and grew up with it. Our parents and/or teachers taught us all about the Bible stories, the catechism, the sacraments. We learned to pray the Creed from an early age, and…Continue Reading

The Necessity Of Baptism

By DON FIER The Church’s immemorial tradition of baptizing infants demonstrates in a particular way one of the great truths of our Catholic faith — that every human person is in need of salvation. Born into this world afflicted with original sin, “a sin which is the death of the soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 403), even…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent question about how much money the U.S. bishops get from the federal government, an article in LifeSiteNews reported that the Obama Administration is pouring hundreds of million of dollars into Catholic institutions and charities. “We’ve got the most virulently anti-life administration in the history of the United States,” said international child rights advocate…Continue Reading

If It Delays, Wait For It

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-4 2 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14 Luke 17:5-10 I have commented many times before on the last lines of the Gospel reading today where our Lord tells us to say: “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” Tragically, I wish that…Continue Reading

The Role Of The Sacred Liturgy In Developing A Catholic Conscience

By FRANCIS CARDINAL ARINZE Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, delivered this lecture at The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky., July 16, 2016. (The lecture is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. We are presenting it in two parts because of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Aubert

By CAROLE BRESLIN Near the west coast of France just below England lies the See of Avranches. If you take a drive around the waterways for about 24 miles, you will arrive at one of the world’s most famous pilgrimages, another World Heritage Site — one of 41 in France. This place, Mont Saint-Michel, is dedicated to St. Michael the…Continue Reading