Easter: May 17th
Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter; Minor Rogation Day
Other Commemorations: St. Paschal Baylon, Religious (RM)
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The Roman Martyrology commemorates St. Paschal Baylon (1540-1592), who lived and died in the kingdom of Aragon, Spain. He spent his early years as a shepherd and often gave religious instruction to the shepherds on the hills of Aragon. At the age of twenty-four, he entered the Franciscan Order and embraced the humble, austere life of a lay brother. He was noted for his devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Pope Leo XIII declared him protector of all Eucharistic Congresses and works.
Today marks the final day of the traditional observance of the Minor Rogation Days, which fall Monday through Wednesday preceding Ascension Thursday.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week we commemorate the traditional dates for the Minor Rogation Days. These are days of prayer and formerly fasting, which take place every year on April 25th and the three days preceding the feast of the Ascension, the former being known as the Major Rogation and the latter as the Minor Rogations. The word “rogation” has its origins in the Latin word rogare, which means to supplicate or ask, and the purpose of Rogation Days is to beg God for His mercy, to turn away His anger, and to ask Him to bless the fruits of the earth while protecting us from natural disasters. The Rogation Days no longer appear on the General Roman Calendar, but celebrated according to the local conference of bishops.
We keep the third and last of the rogation days with our pastor, St. Peter. With profound reverence and filial devotion we will chant today the invocation: "Sancte Peter, ora pro nobs." Great is St. Peter's joy whenever the Church militant calls upon his triumphantCanon). St. Peter, pray for us.
Highlights and Things to Do:
- Rogation Days: Cross Days (Activity)
- Rogation Day Prayers (Prayer)
- Read more about the Rogation Days at Catholic Saints Info.
- For more see Rogation Days.
Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter, Wednesday of the Lesser Rogation Days
Station with San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter's in the Vatican):
Today is the third and last Rogation day. If possible we will take part in the ancient and venerable station procession and in chanting the Litany of the Saints. In spirit we will feel ourselves present within the stational church of St. Peter at Rome, and in union with all Christendom celebrate the Rogation Mass.
For more on San Pietro in Vaticano, see:
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.
St. Paschal Baylon
Paschal Baylon (named after the day of his birth and death: Pentecost Sunday—Pascha Pentekostes) was a simple, pious shepherd boy who later became an ardent spiritual son of St. Francis and the heavenly patron of adorers of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He belongs to that illustrious circle of saints who, by heroic holiness of life, refurbished the Church's crown that had been desecrated by the heretics of the sixteenth century. He hailed from the Spanish section of Valencia in the year 1540, and died at the age of 52. As he lay dead upon the bier, he opened and closed his eyes twice when the sacred species were elevated at the consecration. Leo XIII declared him the heavenly patron of all Eucharistic leagues and societies.
One day Paschal heard the bells of a convent announce the approaching consecration at Mass. Such an ardent longing for God overcame him that, prompted by yearning and love, he involuntarily cried out: "O God, most worthy of all adoration, please let me see You!" Hardly had he uttered the prayer when a glowing star appeared in the sky. As he watched, the heavens opened; the star disappeared and was replaced by a chalice with the Host, flanked by two adoring angels. Christian art has selected this vision to show his chief virtue, viz., love for the most holy Eucharist.
—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Patronage: cooks; shepherds; male children; Eucharistic congresses and organizations (proclaimed 28 November 1897); priestly vocation; Bisenti, Italy; Castelnuovo, Assisi, Italy; Montebello, Orciano di Pesaro, Italy; Obado, Bulacan, Philippines; diocese of Segorbe-Castellón de la Plana, Spain
Symbols and Representation: In adoration before a vision of the Host; Monstrance; Franciscan habit; Before the Eucharist
Highlights and Things to Do:
- Read more about St. Paschal:
- Tomie de Paola wrote a children's book Pascual and the Kitchen Angels that retells some of the goings on in the kitchen with St. Pascal.
- St. Paschal's tomb is located in Sanctuary of St. Paschal Baylon, or de Sant Pasqual, popularly known as El Sant in Villarreal, Spain.