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Saturday, May 17, 2014

St. Paschal Baylon

Easter: May 17th


Paschal Baylon 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 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

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