SAINT OF THE DAY: 17 MAY, 2015

Saint Paschal Baylon

Franciscan Lay Brother
(1540-1592)

Saint Paschal Baylon

From his childhood Saint Paschal seems to have been marked out for the service of God.

Amid his daily labors as a shepherd, he found time to instruct and evangelize the rude herdsmen who kept their flocks on the hills of Aragon.

At the age of twenty-four he entered the reformed Franciscan Order near the town of Monfort, Spain, where he remained, out of humility, a simple lay brother, occupying himself by preference with the roughest and most servile tasks.

He was distinguished by his ardent devotion and love for the Blessed Sacrament.

He would spend hours on his knees before the tabernacle, often being raised from the ground in the fervor of his prayer.

And there, from the authentic and eternal Truth, he drew such stores of wisdom that, unlettered as he was, he was considered by all a master in theology and spiritual science.

Shortly after his profession he was sent to Paris on business connected with his Order.

The journey was full of perils, owing to the hostility of the Huguenots, who were numerous at the time in the south of France; and on four separate occasions Paschal was in imminent danger of death at their hands.

Twice he was taken for a spy; but it was not God’s will that His servant should obtain the crown of martyrdom which he so earnestly desired, though he regarded himself as unworthy of it.

He returned in safety to his convent, where he would later die in the odor of sanctity in 1592.

Multitudes witnessed the miracles which took place during the three days his body was exposed for veneration.

He was canonized in 1690, and in 1897 declared patron of all Eucharistic congresses and confraternities.

Reflection. One day, as young Paschal was watching his sheep on the mountainside, he heard the consecration bell ring out from a church in the valley below, where the villagers were assembled for Mass.

The Saint fell on his knees, when suddenly there stood before him an Angel of God, bearing in his hands the Sacred Host, offering it for his adoration. How pleasing to Jesus Christ are those who honor Him in this great mystery of His love; to them especially this promise is fulfilled: I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. (John 14:18)

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Heavenly Friends: a Saint for each Day,by Rosalie Marie Levy (Saint Paul Editions: Boston, 1958).)

READING OF THE DAY: 17 MAY, 2015

529077_308667885871858_184453284959986_775289_1663694176_n

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.

When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled.

But now I am coming to you.

I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.

I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.

They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.

Consecrate them in the truth.

Your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.

And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”” – John 17:11b-19.