Saint Paschal Baylon was born on the feast of Pentecost, on the twenty-fourth of May, 1540. That is why he was called “Paschal.” He was a little peasant boy who tended sheep. In his leisure, he read holy books and became profoundly learned in all the simple mysteries of the Catholic Faith. His great love and devotion were to the Blessed Sacrament. He would spend hours kneeling before Our Lord in the tabernacle. When he could not go to church, he would kneel in the fields and face the church where the Blessed Sacrament was, and adore Jesus from a distance. He became a Franciscan lay brother at the age of twenty-four. His obedience, humility and gracious manner edified everyone. His assignment as a lay brother was that of a doorkeeper. He used to spend most of his nights in prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. On a trip through France he met some Calvinists, and so defended the Most Blessed Sacrament in disputation with a Protestant minister, that he was beaten until he nearly died. When he did die, on the seventeenth of May, in 1592, while his body lay in the coffin at the foot of the altar in the church at his funeral Mass, during the elevation of the Host and the Chalice, Saint Paschal’s eyes were seen to open and close by hundreds of people in the church. This angelic lay brother of the Franciscan Order has been made the patron of Eucharistic Congresses.
Saint Paschal Baylon (1592)
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