St. Francis of Paula
AT the age of fifteen Francis left his poor home at Paula in Calabria, to live as a hermit in a cave by the sea-coast. In time disciples gathered round him, and with them, in 1436, he founded the "Minims," so called to show that they were the least of monastic Orders. They observed a perpetual Lent, and never touched meat, fish, eggs, or milk. Francis himself made the rock his bed; his best garment was a hair-shirt, and boiled herbs his only fare. As his body withered his faith grew powerful, and he "did all things in Him Who strengthened him." He cured the sick, raised the dead, averted plagues, expelled evil spirits, and brought sinners to penance. A famous preacher, instigated by a few misguided monks, set to work to preach against St. Francis and his miracles. The Saint took no notice of it, and the preacher, finding that he made no way with his hearers, determined to see this poor hermit and confound him in person. The Saint received him kindly, gave him a seat by the fire, and listened to a long exposition of his own frauds. He then quietly took some glowing embers from the fire, and closing his hands upon them unhurt, said, "Come, Father Anthony, warm yourself, for you are shivering for want of a little charity" Father Anthony, falling at the Saint's feet, asked for pardon, and then, having received his embrace, quitted him, to become his panegyrist and attain himself to great perfection. When the avaricious King Ferdinand of Naples offered him money for his convent, Francis told him to give it back to his oppressed subjects, and softened his heart by causing blood to flow from the ill-gotten coin. Louis XI. of France, trembling at the approach of death, sent for the poor hermit to ward off the foe whose advance neither his fortresses nor his guards could check. Francis went by the Pope's command, and prepared the king for a holy death. The successors of Louis showered favors on the Saint, his Order spread throughout Europe, and his name was reverenced through the Christian world. He died at the age of ninety-one, on Good Friday, 1507, with the crucifix in his hand, and the last words of Jesus on hiss lips, "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."
Reflection. —Rely in all difficulties upon God. That which enabled St. Francis to work miracles will in proportion do wonders for yourself, by giving you strength and consolation.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Monday in Easter Week
Introit • Ex. 13, 5, 9
The Lord hath brought you into a land flowing with milk and honey, alleluia; and that the law of the Lord may be ever in your mouth, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 104, 1. Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His name: declare His deeds among the gentiles. Glory be …
O God, Who by the paschal solemnity hast blessed the world with remedies, let Thy heavenly gift, we beseech Thee, go with Thy people that it may both be worthy to attain perfect liberty and may profit by the same unto life everlasting. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Acts 10, 37-43
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
[Cornelius is received into the church. Peter's vision.]
In those days, Peter standing in the midst of the people said: Men, you know the word which hath been published through all Judea: for it began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached, Jesus of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost, and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree. Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest,
Not to all the people, but to witnesses preordained by God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he arose again from the dead; And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God, to be judge of the living and of the dead. To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him.
Gradual • Ps. 117, 24, 2
This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein. Let Israel now say that He is good, that His mercy endureth forever. Allelluia, alleluia. Matt. 28, 2. An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and, coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
Gospel • Luke 24, 13-35
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ's resurrection and manifestation of himself to his disciples.]
At that time, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus.And they talked together of all these things which had happened.And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them.
But their eyes were held, that they should not know him.And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad?And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days?To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people; And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.
But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done.Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre,And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive.And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not.Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken.
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory?And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him. And they drew nigh to the town, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther. But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them. And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures? And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them, Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.
Offertory • Matt. 28, 2, 5, 6
An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and said to the women, He whom you seek is risen as He said. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people with the offerings of sacrifices, that the things begun in the paschal mysteries may, by Thy operation, avail us for a healing remedy unto life everlasting. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 24, 34
The Lod is risen, and hath appeared to Peter. Alluluia.
Pour upon us, O Lord, the spirit of Thy love, to make us of one mind, whom, by Thy tender mercy, Thou hast filed with the paschal sacrament. Through our Lord.