Saint Francis of Paula

Saint Francis of Paula

Thaumaturge, Founder
(1416-1507)

At the age of fifteen, Saint Francis left his poor home at Paula in Calabria, Italy, to live as a hermit in a cave on the seacoast. In time disciples gathered around him, and with them, in 1436, he founded the Order of the Minims. He chose this name that they might always consider themselves the least of monastic Orders. They observed a perpetual Lent, never touching meat, fish, eggs, or milk. Francis himself made the rock his bed; his best garment was a hair shirt, and boiled herbs were his only fare. His first consideration in all things was Caritas, charity.
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Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas – Wednesday After the Fourth Sunday

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Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas

Wednesday After the Fourth Sunday

The Divine Friend

His sisters sent to Him saying : Lord, behold, he whom
Thou lovest is sick.–John xi. 3.

Three things here call for thought.

1. God’s friends are from time to time afflicted in the body. It is not, therefore, in any way a proof that a man is not a friend of God that he is from time to time sick and ailing. Eliphaz argued falsely against Job when he said, Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? or when were the just destroyed? (Job iv. 7).

The gospel corrects this when it says, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick, and the Book of Proverbs, too, where we read, For whom the Lord loveth, He chastiseth: and as a father in the son He pleaseth himself (Prov. iii. 12).

2. The sisters do not say, “Lord, come and heal him.” They merely explain that Lazarus is ill, they say, he is sick. This is to remind us that, when we are dealing with a friend, it is enough to make known our necessity, we do not need to add a request. For a friend, since he wills the welfare of his friend as he wills his own, is as anxious to ward off evil from his friend as he is to ward it off from himself. This is true most of all in the case of Him who, of all friends, loves most truly. The Lord keepeth all them that love him (Ps. cxliv. 20).

3. These two sisters, who so greatly desire the cure of their sick brother, do not come to Christ personally, as did the centurion and the man sick of the palsy. From the special love and familiarity which Christ had shown them, they had a special confidence in Him. And, possibly, their grief kept them at home, as St. Chrysostom thinks. A friend if he continue steadfast, shall be to thee as thyself, and shall act with confidence among them of thy household (Ecclus. vi. 11).

The Month of the Blessed Sacrament

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The Month of the Blessed Sacrament

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The Church traditionally encouraged the month of April for increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. “The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness; as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages; and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb ‘Who was slain.'” –Pope Pius XII Continue reading