Foundress of the Piarist Sisters (1799-1889)
+ Paula Montal Fornes was born in Arenys de Mar, Spain. Following her father’s death when she was ten years old, Paula worked as a seamstress and lace-maker, helping her mother support their large family.
+ At the age of thirty, Paula and a friend opened a school in Gerona. The school was so successful that she established a college in 1842 and another school in 1846.
+ To support these ministries, she established a new religious community: The Daughters of Mary. At her profession of religious vows in 1847, she took the name “Paula of St. Joseph Calasanz” in honor of the founder of the Piarist Fathers and Brothers, a teaching order of men known for his special care for the poor.
+ Saint Paula died on February 26, 1899, and was canonized in 2001.
For prayer and reflection
“Whoever obeys and teaches the commandments of the Lord will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”—Matthew 5:9
On this day, the Church remembers Saint Alexander, the patriarch of Alexandria. A key figure of the Council of Nicea, he was a staunch opponent of Arius and his heretical teachings. Saint Alexander died in 326 and was succeeded by the great Saint Athanasius.
O God, who raised up blessed Paula of St. Joseph Calasanz in your Church to show others the way of salvation, grant us, by her example, so to follow Christ the master, that we may come with our neighbor into your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Educators)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.