The feast day of St. Francis of Paola is celebrated on April 2.
St. Francis was born in Paola, Italy in 1416. His parents named him after St. Francis of Assisi. He was educated at San Marco at the Franciscan friary. At the age of fifteen, Francis decided to become a hermit. He lived in a cave on the seashore eating food which grew wild. He soon had followers and they founded an order called the Hermits of St. Francis. The Order was approved by Pope Sixtus IV in 1474. In 1492 the name of the Order was changed to Minim Friars. Minim means ‘least’. The orders primary focus was on humility. It also emphasized penance and chastity.
St. Francis of Paola was credited with many miracles becoming known as a wonder worker. He was also known for his gift of prophecy. He was so well known that King Louis XI of France requested his help while nearing death. Pope Sixtus II ordered him to go to France. Unable to cure the king, St. Francis told him not to fear death but to fear the loss of eternal life. He became the spiritual advisor to the king. He encouraged the king to surrender his heart and soul to God before it was too late. The king died in Francis’ arms in 1482. The son of the king, Charles, became a friend to Francis. He endowed several monasteries for the Minims in France. Francis spent his final years at the monastery in Plessis, France where he died.
St. Francis spent the final three months of his life in complete solitude. He died at the age of 91 on Good Friday, April 2.
The recollection of injury is…a rusty arrow and poison for the soul.
Quote of St. Francis of Paola
April is the Month of the Eucharist
St. Francis of Paola in Art