St. Francis was born at Paula in Calabria; after living as a hermit for five years (from the age of fourteen to nineteen) he gathered around him some companions with whom he led the religious life. This was the origin of a new order, to which he gave the name of Minims, that is "the least" in the house of God. Pope Sixtus IV sent him to France to help Louis XI on his deathbed. He remained there and founded a house of his Minims at Tours.
St. Francis of Paola
Francis of Paola founded the Minim Order, a branch of the Franciscans (1454). These "Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi" dwelt in small houses, and as "least" brethren, endeavored to live a more austere and humble life than the "Fratres Minores."
The saint worked numerous miracles. He had a favorite ejaculation, one that welled up from the depths of his physical and spiritual being: "Out of love." This was an all-powerful ejaculation for him and for his companions. "Out of love" the heaviest stone was light; "Out of love" he admonished and punished; "Out of love" he once crossed the sea without a boat.
For on a certain occasion the saint wanted to go from the Italian mainland to Sicily. A boat was lying in the harbor. Francis asked the owner if he would take him and his companion along on the boat. "If you pay, monk," the sailor answered sulkily, "I will take you along." "Out of love," the saint humbly pleaded; "for I have no money with me." "Then I have no ship for you," came the mocking reply. "Out of love," was Francis' answer, "forgive me if I go away." He walked about a stone's throw to the shore, knelt down, and blessed the sea. Then, to the sailor's great surprise, the saint suddenly stood up, stepped out on the tossing waves, and with firm foot trod over the surging sea.
St. Francis of Paola stood high in the esteem of the French king, Louis XI, whom he helped prepare for death.
—The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Patronage: Against fire; boatmen; Calabria, Italy (named by Pope John XXIII in 1963); mariners; naval officers; plague epidemics; sailors; sterility; travelers; watermen.
Symbols and Representation: Man with the word "charitas" levitated above a crowd; man holding a skull and scourge; man sailing on his cloak.
Highlights and Things to Do:
- Learn more about St. Francis of Paola:
- Read this quote from St. Francis on the Vatican Website
Saturday in the 4th Week of Lent
Station with San Nicola in Carcere (St. Nicholas in Prison):
Today's Station is St. Nicholas of Bari in Prison, dedicated to the popular St. Nicholas of Myra or also referred to as St. Nicholas of Bari, whose feast is December 6. It was constructed in the ruins of two temples and the ancient Forum Olitorium, with visible fragments from the ruins reused in the church. The most important of the temples was the Temple of Piety, built by Acilius Glabrius, consul in 191 B.C. The dedication to St. Nicholas was made by the Greek population in the area.
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.