Franciscan Lay Brother: 1540-1592
+ Paschal was born on Pentecost Sunday in the Kingdom of Aragon (Spain). H received little formal education and it is said that he taught himself to read while tending sheep.
+ At the age of 21, he became a Franciscan friar, following the reforms of Saint Peter of Alcántara. Brother Paschal showed great care for the poor and sick and he was well-liked for his humility and warm heart.
+ Paschal had a great devotion to the Eucharist and would often spend long hours in prayer and he loved to serve Mass.
+ Saint Paschal died on Pentecost Sunday in 1592 and was canonized in 1690. Many miracles and cures were attributed to his intercession. During the Spanish Civil War, his grave was desecrated and his relics burned.
+ Because of his great devotion to the Eucharist and love of the Mass, Saint Paschal Baylon is honored as the patron of Eucharistic Congresses.
“Dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist is at the root of every form of holiness, and each of us is called to the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit. How many saints have advanced along the way of perfection thanks to their eucharistic devotion! From Saint Ignatius of Antioch to Saint Augustine, from Saint Anthony Abbot to Saint Benedict, from Saint Francis of Assisi to Saint Thomas Aquinas, from Saint Clare of Assisi to Saint Catherine of Siena, from Saint Paschal Baylon to Saint Peter Julian Eymard, from Saint Alphonsus Liguori to Blessed Charles de Foucauld, from Saint John Mary Vianney to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, from Saint Pius of Pietrelcina to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, from Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati to Blessed Ivan Merz, to name only a few, holiness has always found its center in the sacrament of the Eucharist.”
The Saint in Art
Saint Paschal Baylon is often depicted wearing the brown habit of the Franciscans and in prayer before a monstrance.
O God, you adorned Blessed Paschal, your Confessor, with a wonderful love for the holy mysteries of your Body and Blood; mercifully grant that we, too, may deserve to receive the same spiritual graces which he received from this divine banquet. Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal [1962 edition])
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.