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Saint Francesco di Paola

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Saint Francesco di Paola

  • Birth 27 Mar 1416
  • Death 2 Apr 1507 La Riche, Departement d'Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France
  • Burial Body lost or destroyed, Specifically: Bones are with several of his churches in the province of Calabria, Italy and France.
  • Memorial ID 6865071

Roman Catholic Saint. Born to Giacomo Martolilla and Vienna d'Alessio, his parents were advanced in years and fircely devout. They attributed his birth to the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi and named their eldest child for him. At 15, he entered the monastery of the Friars Minor Conventuals in St. Marco Argentano, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, showing his disposition to prayer and devotion which would make him famous in the future. According to St. Francis's first anonymous biographer, while on his way to visit Assisi, he visited Rome. When he saw a cardinal wearing luxurious clothing Francis di Paola said, "Our Lord did not dress like that." From then on, he was determined to lead a religious life based on poverty. The many pilgrims visiting Paola drew the attention of Pope Paul II. The Pontiff sent an Apostolic visitor, Monsignor Baldassarre De Gutrossis to Paola to inquire into Francis's life. Mgr. De Gutrossis reassured the Pope that Francis was committed to the Apostolic See. He then persuaded four cardinals to grant indulgence, under the usual conditions, to the pilgrims who visited Francis's church or financially contributed to its building. Francis di Paola began construction of a church in Paola on July 7, 1467. Thanks to Neopolitan merchants, his fame reached the court of French King Louis XI. Louis was on his deathbed and summoned Francis to France, hoping he could cure him (Louis died shortly afterwards). The Pope, wishing to sign a treaty with France to abolish the 1438 Sanction of Bourges, granted Louis XI's request as did the King of Naples. It took months to persuade Francis to leave Paola, and he only went to France when the Pope forced him to leave. Francis would live in France for 25 years, continuing his work there, being looked upon as a second John the Baptist. Some Benedictines, Franciscans and hermits left their orders to follow him, which changed Francis's Calabrian organization to an international one. This led to the foundation of the Order of Minims, then to the secular Third Order and finally to the cloistered nuns. Their Rules were approved by Pope Julius II on July 28, 1506. Francesco was beatified on July 7, 1513 and was canonized as a Saint on May 1, 1519. He was declared Patron Saint of seamen by Pope Pious XII on March 27, 1943 and was declared Patron Saint of the region of Calabria by Pope John XXIII in 1963. Many southern Italian immigrants invoked him when they immigrated from Italy and Francis is particularly invoked by childless couples. On the Catholic Liturgical Calendar, the feast day of St. Francesco di Paola is celebrated on April 2.

Bio by: Donna Di Giacomo


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: A.J.
  • Added: 21 Oct 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6865071
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Saint Francesco di Paola (27 Mar 1416–2 Apr 1507), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6865071, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Body lost or destroyed, who reports a Bones are with several of his churches in the province of Calabria, Italy and France..