LITURGY FOR THE DAY: THURSDAY April 2, 1998


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THURSDAY, April 2, 1998

Saint Francis of Paola

     Born a little over two hundred years after the Franciscans were founded, Saint Francis of Paola followed in his founder's footsteps by becoming a Friar at the age of 13 in the city of his birth - Calabria, Italy. The commitment was largely due to the vow his own parents had made to the holy Saint Francis of Assisi in intercession to save their young son who went through a case of severe sickness as a youth. Two years after joining the Franciscan community, young Francis, at the age of 15, retired to become a hermit. But as much as he sought a life of solitude many followers sought him out and he acquiesced to teach them. When he was twenty he founded the Order of Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi and lived to see it approved by Pope Julius II in 1506, though the name had been changed to Order of Minims which meant "little ones." This order was stricter than most and observed a strict observance of fasting, abstaining from all meat, milk and eggs. The order became so popular in the late fourteen hundreds that Pope Sixtus IV asked him to serve the court of King Louis XI and then gave the humble saint permission to open numerous monasteries throughout France where he died in that country in 1507 on Good Friday at the ripe age of 71. In 1519 he was canonized by Pope Leo X. In 1943 Pope Pius XII declared Francis the patron saint of seafarers.

FRIDAY, April 3, 1998