Friday, May 17, 2013


John 21: 15 - 19
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
16 A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.
18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go."
19 (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."


(Vatican Radio image share)

Vatican City, 17 May 2013 (VIS) – The Pontifical Missionary Works (POM) are “entirely relevant, even more, they are still necessary today because there are so many peoples who have still not known and met Christ and it is urgent to find new forms and new ways that God's grace might touch the heart of each man and each woman and bring them to him.” With these words, Pope Francis greeted the national directors of the POM for the first time, thanking them because they help him “keep evangelization, the paradigm of every act of the Church, alive.”The Holy Father noted that the Missionary Works are also called “pontifical” because “they are at the Bishop of Rome's direct disposal, with the specific purpose of acting so that the precious gift of the Gospel might be offered to all.” “Certainly,” he said, “the mission that awaits us is difficult but, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it becomes an exciting mission. … This is what we should always draw courage from: knowing that the strength of evangelization comes from God, belongs to him. We are called to open ourselves more and more to the Holy Spirit's work … to be instruments of God's mercy, his tenderness, his love for every man and woman, and especially for the poor, the excluded and the marginalized. And this holds for every Christian, for the whole Church. It isn't an optional mission but an essential one.”
The Pope repeated the invitation that Paul VI had given them 50 years before: “to zealously safeguard the universal scope of the Missionary Works” and he urged them to make sure that they “might continue, in the path of their centuries-old tradition, to give life and formation to churches, opening them to the broad dimension of the mission of evangelization.” The POM also properly belong to the concerns of the bishops so that they might be rooted in the life of the particular churches. Therefore, “they must truly become the privileged instrument of education toward a universal missionary spirit and an ever greater communion between churches to proclaim the Gospel to the world. Faced with the temptations communities have to become wrapped up in themselves, worried about their own problems, your job is to recall the 'missio ad gentes', to prophetically witness that the life of the Church and the churches is mission, and it is a universal mission.”
In this context, Francis asked them to give “special attention to the young churches, which often operate in a climate of difficulty, discrimination, and persecution, so that they might be sustained and assisted in witnessing the Gospel in word and in deed.” He concluded his address by encouraging the directors of the POM to continue their work “so that the local churches might ever more generously take on their share of responsibility for the Church's universal mission.”

 Vatican Radio REPORT The problem is not that we are sinners, but that we do not allow ourselves to be transformed by the encounter with Christ in love: this was the main focus of Pope Francis’ remarks at Mass on Friday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican, which was attended by employees of the Vatican Museums. At the center of the homily was the day's Gospel reading, in which the Risen Jesus thrice asks Peter if Peter loves Him. “It is,” said Pope Francis, “a dialogue of love between the Lord and his disciple,” one that retraces the whole history of Peter’s meetings with Jesus, from Peter’s first calling and invitation to follow the Lord, to his receiving the name of Cephas – the Rock – and with the name, his peculiar mission, “which,” said Pope Francis, “was there, even if Peter understood nothing of it [at the time].” Then, when Peter recognized Jesus as the Christ and went on to reject the way of the Cross, and Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan!” and “Peter accepted this humiliation.” Peter often “believed himself to be a good fellow,” was “fiery” in the Garden of Gethsemane, and “took the sword” to defend Jesus, but then denied him three times – and when Jesus looked on him with that look, “so beautiful [it was],” said the Pope, that Peter weeps. “Jesus in these meetings is maturing Peter’s soul, Peter's heart,” helping Peter to grow in love. So Peter, when he heard Jesus three times ask him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” was ashamed, because he remembered the time when, three times, he said he did not know the Lord:

“Peter was saddened that, for a third time, Jesus asked him, “Do you love me?” This pain, this shame – a great man, this Peter – [and] a sinner, a sinner. The Lord makes him feel that he is a sinner – makes us all feel that we are sinners. The problem is not that we are sinners: the problem is not repenting of sin, not being ashamed of what we have done. That's the problem. And Peter has this shame, this humility, no? The sin, the sin of Peter, is a fact that, with a heart as great as the heart Peter had, brings him to a new encounter with Jesus: to the joy of forgiveness.”

The Lord did not abandon his promise, when said, “You are rock.” In the episode recounted in Friday’s Gospel, we saw Jesus saying, “Feed my sheep,” and the Lord “[gave] over His flock to a sinner.”:

“Peter was a sinner, but not corrupt, eh? Sinners, yes, everyone: corrupt, no. I once knew of a priest, a good parish pastor who worked well. He was appointed bishop, and he was ashamed because he did not feel worthy, he had a spiritual torment. And he went to the confessor. The confessor heard him and said, ‘But do not worry. If after the [mess Peter made of things], they made him Pope, then you go ahead! .’ The point is that this is how the Lord is. That’s the way He is. The Lord makes us mature with many meetings with Him, even with our weaknesses, when we recognize [them], with our sins.”

Pope Francis went on to say that Peter let himself be shaped by his many encounters with Jesus, and that this, he said, “is something we all need to do as well, for we are on the same road.” The Holy Father stressed that Peter is great, not because he is good, but because he has a nobility of heart, which brings him to tears, leads him to this pain, this shame - and also to take up his work of shepherding the flock”:

“Let us ask the Lord, today, that this example of the life of a man who continually meets with the Lord, and whom the Lord purifies, makes more mature through these meetings, might help us to us to move forward, seeking the Lord and meeting Him, allowing us [really] to encounter Him. More than this, it is important that we let ourselves encounter the Lord: He always seeks us, He is always near us. Many times, though, we look the other way because we do not want to talk with the Lord or allow ourselves to encounter the Lord. Meeting the Lord [is important], but more importantly, let us be met by the Lord: this is a grace. This is the grace that Peter teaches us. We ask this grace today. So be it.”

Vatican City, 17 May 2013 (VIS) - Given below is the calendar of the Holy Father Francis' liturgical celebrations and activities scheduled for the months of May, June, and July.
23 MayThursday: 6:00pm, Profession of Faith with the Bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
26 MaySunday, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: Pastoral visit to the Roman parish of Sts. Elizabeth and Zechariah. 9:30am, Mass.
30 MayThursday, Solemnity of Corpus Cristi: 7:00pm, Mass in Piazza St. John Lateran. Procession to St. Mary Major and Eucharistic Blessing.
31 MayFriday: 8:00pm, Pope closes month of May, dedicated to the Virgin, with the Rosary prayed with the faithful in St. Peter's Square.
2 June, 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 6:00pm, Worldwide Eucharistic adoration from Vatican Basilica.
16 June, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 10:30am, Mass for “Evangelium Vitae” Day in St. Peter's Square.
29 Saturday, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul: 9:30am, Mass and imposition of the pallium upon new metropolitans in the papal chapel.
7 July, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9:30am, Mass with seminarians and novices in the Vatican Basilica.
22-29 July: apostolic trip to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day.
Vatican City, 17 May 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday, Thursday 16 May, in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel, there was a meeting on new religious movements organized by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue that, together with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity and for Culture, have been studying these phenomena for some time.
In 1986, for the first time, a brief provisional report was published entitled: “The Phenomenon of Sects and the New Religious Movements: Pastoral Challenge”, the result of a questionnaire sent out to the Episcopal Conferences two years prior. Since that time, the aforementioned dicasteries have continued their task of reflection, publishing an anthology of texts entitled: “Sects and New Religious Movements: Texts of the Catholic Church (1986-1994)”.
In 2003, “Jesus Christ, Bearer of Living Water. A Christian Reflection on the 'New Age',” was published by the Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Interreligious Dialogue following an International Conference on the New Age.
Yesterday's meeting, attended by around 40 representatives from various Vatican dicasteries, pontifical universities, the Italian Episcopal Conference, and the Vicariate of Rome, is a step further along the path of reflection, study, and the search for effective pastoral responses.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, opened and closed the meeting while Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I., secretary of the same dicastery, acted as moderator. Some of the themes covered include: New Religious Movements and the New Evangelization; New Frontiers of the Sacred; Dialogue and Comparison between Faith and Credulity; Catholics and Pentecostals—Identity, Ties, and Perspectives; and New Age, Analysis of the Cultural Context.
Speakers included: Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization; Fr. Michael Fuss and Fr. Michael P. Gallagher, S.J., professors at the Pontifical Gregorian University; Msgr. Juan Usma Gomez, office director of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; and Fr. Alessandro Olivieri Pennesi, director of the Vicariate of Rome's Office for New Worship.
Vatican City, 17 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
nine prelates from the Sardegna Region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
   - Archbishop Arrigo Miglio of Cagliari,
   - Archbishop Paolo Mario Virgilio Atzei, O.F.M. Conv., of Sassari,
   - Archbishop Ignazio Sanna of Oristano,
   - Bishop Antioco Piseddu of Lanusei,
   - Bishop Sebastiano Sanguinetti of Tempio-Ampurias,
   - Bishop Giovanni Dettori of Ales-Terralba,
   - Bishop Mose Marcia of Nuoro,
   - Bishop Giovanni Paolo Zedda of Iglesias, and
   - Bishop Mauro Maria Morfino, S.D.B., of Alghero-Bosa.
   - and Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA).
This afternoon he is scheduled to receive Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Vatican City, 17 May 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Enrique Benavent Vidal as bishop of Tortosa (area 6,450, population 294,000, Catholics 261,000, priests 132, permanent deacons 2, religious 256), Spain. Bishop Benavent, previously auxiliary of Valencia and titular of Rotdon, was born in Quatretonda, Valencia, Spain in 1959, was ordained to the priesthood in 1982, and received episcopal ordination in 2005. On the Spanish Episcopal Conference he is a member of the Commissions for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Seminaries and Universities.


16 TORNADOES hit North Texas and Granbury, on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The twisters ripped through the area for 7 straight hours. 6 people were killed including: 
Jose Tovar Alvarez, 34; Marjari Davis, thought to be 82; Tommy Martin, 61; Leo Stefanski, 83; and Robert and Glenda Whitehead. (CNN)
7 people are still missing. There was great damge to homes and buildings; some being completely demolished. (Image source: Google)


by Melani Manel Perera
Known by the initials KP, Selvarasa Kumaran Pathmanathen opens a hostel for children victims of the civil war. "Education," he says, "is the only way to help them overcome their trauma." Released from prison last October, he is still wanted by Interpol.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Children have to study, not take up arms," said Selvarasa Kumaran Pathmanathen.  Known by the initials KP, the former head of the international section of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) was released in October 2012 for collaborating with the Government of Sri Lanka.
Although still on the Interpol's wanted list, the former arms dealer opened a hostel for children civil war victims called the Senchcholai Children Care Home in Kilinochchi today (Northern Province), which is the home of 300 children, orphaned or disabled during the conflict.
For the former terrorist, "the only way to put such a trauma behind is to give them an education."
"This is how I think today. The lack of a proper education fuelled the violence, and pushed us Tamil backward. This is a community that has lost all hope; restoring its sense of confidence is the biggest challenge of the moment." For this reason, the hostel makes sure the children go to a nearby school.
Yet, KP is concerned about the military presence in the north of the country. "On the one hand," he admits, "the presence of the military has increased the sense of security. On the other though, it is intimidating to people who still feel under [someone else's] control."



UK: on-line Catholic directory launched | Catholic Directory, CathCom, Nick Layton

UK-based Catholic publishing house CathCom launched their new Catholic Directory today, giving the Catholic Church in England & Wales a new and vital source of online information. The site includes details of churches, schools, communities and other Catholic organisations, together with website links. It is being updated continuously and in  the coming months there are plans to add several more features. The service is completely free to the public.
The website’s founder, Nick Layton said: “This is a very important moment for us. Rather than this being the unveiling of a finished website,  I see it as the first step in developing a vital resource for the Church.
To visit Catholic Directory.Com please see:


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
17 May 2013
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet in Sydney for the Great Grace Conference
The Great Grace Conference: Understanding Vatican II, one of the most significant religious gatherings to be held in Australia will begin next Monday, 20 May and offers the 450-plus participants from across Australia the chance to hear nine internationally-renowned speakers, attend a wide variety of intensive workshops and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council.
In planning for more than a year, the four-day event will explore and celebrate the ongoing relevance not only to the Church today but into the future.
In addition to keynote addresses and workshops, the Conference will also feature a number of special events some of which are open to the public. This will include a public lecture, entitled "Yesterday's Council for Tomorrow's World," by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell to be held at St Mary's Cathedral on Monday evening, 20 May at 7 pm, following a 5.30 pm Mass.
On Thursday, 23 May, participants at the Conference and those of faith from across Sydney are invited to attend a Mass in the Year of Faith to Celebrate Our Lady Help of Christians to be held at St Mary's Cathedral at 6.30 pm. The Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Pell and Canada's Cardinal Ouellet, who is also one of the Conference's keynote speakers.
"To have Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who is one of the greatest scholars among the College of Cardinals, as one of the Conference's keynote speakers is a huge achievement by the Archdiocese of Sydney," says Professor Tracey Rowland, Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family (Melbourne) and also one of the keynote speakers who will address the Conference.
The Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Archbishop Emeritus of Quebec and member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, during this year's Conclave to elect a new Holy Father, Cardinal Ouellet was suggested by some as one of the front runners.
Professor Tracey Rowland one of the outstanding keynote speakers at next week's Great Grace Conference in Sydney
"I was in Canada during the Conclave and was interviewed by media in Quebec about the possibility of a Canadian pope, and every time they'd ask the same old and secular question about whether a new Pope would change the Church's teaching on abortion. And to every question I'd reply that the sanctity of human life is a basic belief for everyone in the Church and not a single cardinal in the conclave is about to change that," Professor Rowland says.
Professor Rowland is not only looking forward to Cardinal Ouellet's address at the Conference but insists she is determined to hear as many of the other speakers as she can.
As one of the keynote speakers herself, Professor Rowland says she hopes all those attending the Conference, which has been organised by the Archdiocese of Sydney, will come away with a much deeper understanding of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.
In her own address, she will give participants a chance to explore interpretations of these teachings over the past 50 years and will contrast earlier readings with later interpretations.
In the years following Vatican II there was a "a pastoral strategy of correlationism," she says and describes this as "the idea the Catholic faith needed to be repackaged and correlated with reference to contemporary cultural terms."
In this context of adapting the faith to suit demands of the culture of the time, the reception of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council in Australia followed similar patterns to that of other countries in the Western world with interpretations of the teachings put an emphasis on the correlation of the Catholic faith to intellectual currents within the (then) fashionable culture of modernity, she explains.
This led to the mistaken presumption among quite a number of those interpreting Vatican II teaching in these early years that not only modernity was here to stay but a belief that the Church should adapt and accommodate such intellectual and cultural thinking.
Prior to becoming Pope, Blessed John Paul II was one of the great scholars and teachers
from Vatican II
"These interpretations are wrong and are pastorally destructive," Professor Rowland says and dismisses such interpretations as out of step with contemporary cultural conditions and irrelevant.
By 1968, modernity was being superseded by postmodernity. But it was not until the 1980s onwards that what she describes as "correlationist projects" began to be overtaken by the Christocentric projects of the pontificates of John Pall II, at the core of which was Blessed John Paul II's "Christocentric anthropology." 
A Permanent Fellow of the Institute of Political Philosophy and Continental Theology, a Fellow of the Centre for Theology and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham and Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Faith Ethics and Society at the University of Notre Dame (Sydney), Professor Rowland explains that in 1985 Blessed John Paul II called a Synod of Bishops to discuss interpretations of Vatican II's teachings. And it was at this Synod that Blessed John Paul II, who had been at the Second Vatican Council more than 20 years before, emphasised the Christocentricity of the documents.
"The hallmark of his pontificate was that Christ should position culture, rather than the culture of the times positioning Christ," she says. "According to t his interpretation it is Christ himself who is the 'sign of the times.'"
She points out however that Christ cannot be understood without reference to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and that one of Blessed John Paul II's early encyclicals interpreted the relationship between God the Father and the human person, the relationship between God the Holy Spirit and the human person and the relationship between Christ and the human person.
Apart from keynote addresses there will also be 24 workshops at the conferences discussing such topics as The Call to Co-responsibility: lay leadership in the church; The First Council for Women?; Proposing, Not Imposing: the place of the Church in the public arena and A Secret No Longer: the social mandate of the Church.
Also planned is a Youth Event to be hosted by Theology on Tap at the Commercial Hotel, Parramatta on Tuesday, 21 May at 6.30 pm. Open to the city's under 30s, the evening will be attended by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet PPS and Cardinal Pell, who will use this special occasion to launch YouthCAT: Youth Prayer Book to help young people live their faith and deepen their spiritual lives.
Cardinal Pell will also launch a new exciting Catholic initiative called "Catholic Talk" at the conclusion of the Great Grace Conference. Catholic Talk is a group of people who can articulate a personal, relevant and clear Catholic perspective in the media and at public hearings.
To attend one of the public events of the Great Grace Conference: Receiving Vatican II today or to register for the entire four day Conference log on to
Vatican II began 50 years ago and its legacy continues now and into the future



Agenzia Fides report - A new massive bombing on a village in the Nuba Mountains, by the Sudanese Air Force, caused 25 victims and 8 wounded. This was reported by the Sudan Catholic Radio Network, according to which in the morning of May 15, Sudanese planes dropped 13 bombs on the village of Kawalib. In addition to deaths and the wounded, the bombing resulted in the destruction of twenty homes and the loss of cattle.
On the same day another bombing was carried out on the villages of Kauda and Kumo, causing the death of a person.
The inhabitants of the area say that the bombing of the Sudanese Antonov (which are actually converted into rudimentary transport aircraft bombers) take place on a regular basis and launch an appeal to the international community to intervene to protect civilians.
The Nuba Mountains are part of South Kordofan, where a war has been going on for a long time between the government in Khartoum and the SPLA-North (Sudan People's Liberation Army-North). Fides Agency has repeatedly launched His Exc. Mgr. Macram Max Gassis' appeals, Bishop of El Obeid, to stop this forgotten war (see Fides 29/11/2012). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 16/05/2013)


Part 8 of the life story of St. Molokai shared from Youtube 


On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.
The Gift of Counsel
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)

Novena Day 1
Day 2
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Day 7
Day 8
Day 9



St. Paschal Baylon
Feast: May 17

Feast Day:May 17
Born:1540, Torrehermosa, Aragon
Died:17 May 1592
Canonized:October 16, 1690 by Alexander VIII
Major Shrine:Royal Chapel in Villareal
Patron of:Patron of Eucharistic congresses and Eucharistic associations
The state of poverty was honored by the choice of our blessed Redeemer, and hath been favored with his special blessing. It removes men from many dangers and temptations, and furnishes them with perpetual occasions for the exercise of self-denial, patience, penance, resignation to the divine will, and every other heroic Christian virtue: yet these great means of salvation are by many, through ignorance, impatience, and inordinate desires, often perverted into occasions of  their temporal and eternal misery. Happy are they who, by making a right use of the spiritual advantages which this state, so dear to our divine Redeemer, offers them, procure to themselves present peace, joy, and every solid good; and make every circumstance of that condition in which providence hath placed them a step to perfect virtue and to everlasting happiness. This in an eminent degree was the privilege of St. Paschal Baylon. He was born in 1540, at Torre-Hermosa, a small country town in the kingdom of Aragon. His parents were day-laborers, and very virtuous; and to their example our saint was greatly indebted for the spirit of piety and devotion, which he seemed to have sucked in from his mother's milk. Their circumstances were too narrow to afford his being sent to school; but the pious child, out of an earnest desire of attaining to so great a means of instruction, carried a book with him into the fields where he watched the sheep, and desired those that he met to teach him the letters; and thus, in a short time, being yet very young, he learned to read. This advantage he made use of only to improve his soul in devotion and piety: books of amusement he never would look into; but the lives of the saints, and, above all, meditations on the life of Christ were his chiefest delight. He loved nothing but what was serious and of solid advantage, at a time of life in which many seem scarce susceptible of such impressions. When he was of a proper age, he engaged with a master to keep his flocks as under-shepherd: he was delighted with the innocent and quiet life his state permitted him to lead. That solitary life had charms for him. Whatever he saw was to him an object of faith and devotion. He read continually in the great book of nature; and from every object raised his soul to God, whom he contemplated and praised in all his works. Besides external objects, he had almost continually a spiritual book in his hands, which served to instruct and to inflame his veal in the love and practice of virtue. His master, who was a person of singular piety, was charmed with his edifying conduct, and made him an offer to adopt him for his son, and to make him his heir. But Paschal, who desired only the goods of another life, was afraid that those of this world would prove to him an incumbrance; he therefore modestly declined the favor, desiring always to remain his humble state, as being more conformable to that which Christ chose for himself on earth, who came not into the world to be served, but to serve. He was often discovered praying on his knees under some tree, while his flocks were browsing on the hills. It was by this secret entertainment of his soul with God, in the most profound humility, and perfect purity of his affections, that he acquired a most sublime science and experience in spiritual things, at which those who were the most advanced were struck with admiration. He could truly say with David: <Blessed is he whom thou thyself shalt instruct, O Lord.>1 He spoke of God and of virtue with an inimitable unction and experimental light, and with sentiments which the Holy Ghost alone forms in souls which are perfectly disengaged from earthly things, and replenished with his heavenly fire. Often was he seen ravished in holy prayer; and frequently was not able to conceal from the eyes of men the vehement ardor of the divine love with which his soul melted in an excess of heavenly sweetness. He felt in himself what many servants of God assure us of, that "the consolation which the Holy Ghost frequently infuses into pious souls, is greater than all the pleasures of the world together, could they be enjoyed by one man. It makes the heart to dissolve and melt through excess of joy, under which it is unable to contain itself." In these sentiments did this servant of God sing with David: <My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall be delighted in his salvation. All my bones shall say, O Lord, who is like to thee!>2 The reward of virtue is reserved for heaven; but some comforts are not denied during the present time of trial. Even in this vale of tears, <God will make its desert as a place of pleasure; and its wilderness as the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found in it thanksgiving and the voice of praise.> Isa. li. 3. It is sufficiently understood that the saint did not receive these heavenly comforts without severe interior trials, and a constant practice of self-denial, by which his heart was crucified to the world. The dew of extraordinary spiritual comforts never falls on unmortified souls, which seek the delights of this world. St. Paschal in his poverty joined alms with his continual prayer; and not having any other means to relieve the poor, always gave them a good part of his own dinner which was sent him into the fields.

How great soever his love was for his profession, he found however several difficulties in it which made him think of leaving it. He was not able, notwithstanding all the care he could take, to hinder a flock of goats he had in charge from sometimes trespassing on another's ground. This occasioned his giving over the inspection of that flock. But he found other troubles in taking care of other cattle. Some of his companions, not baying the same piety with himself, were but too much addicted to cursing, quarrelling, and fighting; nor were they to be reclaimed by his gentle rebukes on these accounts. He was therefore determined to leave them, not to participate in their crimes. And to learn the will of God in this important choice of a state of life in which he might most faithfully serve him, he redoubled lids prayers, fasts, and other austerities. After some time spent in this manner, ho determined to become a religious man. Those to whom he first disclosed his inclination to a religious state, pointed out to him several convents richly endowed. But that circumstance alone was enough to disgust him; and his answer was: "I was born poor, and I am resolved to live and die in poverty arid penance." Being at that time twenty years of age he left his master, his friends, and his country, and went into the kingdom of Valentia, where was an austere convent of barefoot reformed Franciscans, called Soccolans, which stood in a desert solitude, but at no great distance from the town of Montfort. He addressed himself to the fathers of this house for spiritual advice; and, in the mean time, he entered into the service of certain farmers in the neighborhood to keep their sheep. He continued here his penitential and retired life in assiduous prayer, and was known in the whole country by the name of the Holy Shepherd. To sequester himself from the world, he made the more haste to petition for the habit of a lay-brother in the house above-mentioned: and was admitted in 1564. The fathers desired to persuade him to enter himself among the clerks, or those who aspired to holy orders, and sing  the divine office in the choir; but they were obliged to yield to his humility, and admit him among the lay-brothers of the community. He was not only a fervent novice, which we often see, but also a most fervent religious man, always advancing, and never losing ground. Though his rule was most austere, he added continually to its severity, but always with simplicity of heart, without the least attachment to his own will; and whenever he was admonished of any excess in his practices of mortification, he most readily confined himself to the letter of his rule. The meanest employments always gave him the highest satisfaction. Whenever he changed convents, according to the custom of his order, the better to prevent any secret attachments of the heart, he never complained of any thing, nor so much as said that he found any thing in one house more agreeable than in another; because, being entirely dead to himself; he everywhere sought only God. He never allowed himself a moment of repose between the Church and cloister duties, and his work; nor did his labor interrupt his prayer. He had never more than one habit, and that always threadbare. He walked without sandals in the snows, and in the roughest roads. He accommodated himself to all places and seasons, and was always content, cheerful, mild, affable, and full of respect for all. He thought himself honored if employed in any painful and low office to serve any one.
The general of the order happening to be at Paris, Paschal was sent thither to him about some necessary business of his province. Many of the cities through which he was to pass in France, were in the hands of the Huguenots, who were then in arms. Yet he offered himself to a martyrdom of obedience, travelled in his habit, and without so much as sandals on his feet, was often pursued by the Huguenots with sticks and stones, and received a wound on one shoulder of which he remained lame as long as he lived. He was twice taken for a spy; but God delivered him out of all dangers. On the very day on which he arrived at his convent from this tedious journey, he went out to his work and other duties as usual. He never spoke of any thing that had happened to him in his journey unless asked; and then was careful to suppress whatever might reflect on him the least honor or praise. He had a singular devotion to the mother of God, whose intercession he never ceased to implore that he might be preserved from sin. The holy sacrament of the altar was the object of his most tender devotion; also the passion of our divine Redeemer. He spent, especially towards the end of his life, a considerable part of the night at the foot of the altar on his knees, or prostrate on the ground. In prayer he was often favored with ecstasies and raptures. He died at Villa Reale, near Valentia, on the 17th of May, in 1592, being fifty-two years old. His corpse was exposed three days, during which time the great multitudes which from all parts visited the church, were witnesses to many miracles by which God attested the sanctity of his servant. St. Paschal was beatified by Pope Paul V. in 1618, and canonized by Alexander VIII. in 1690.

If Christians in every station endeavored with their whole strength continually to advance in virtue, the Church would be filled with saints. But alas! though it be an undoubted maxim, that not to go on in a spiritual life is to fall back, "Nothing is more rare," says St. Bernard, "than to find persons who always press forward. We see more converted from vice to virtue, than increase their fervor in virtue." This is something dreadful. The same father assigns two principal reasons. First, many who begin well, after some time grow again remiss in the exercises of mortification and prayer, and return to the amusements, pleasures, and vanities of a worldly life. Secondly, others who are regular and constant in exterior duties, neglect to watch over and cultivate their interior; so that some interior spiritual vice insinuates itself into their affections, and renders them an abomination in the eyes of God. "A man" says St. Bernard,4 "who gives himself up entirely to exterior exercises without looking seriously into his own heart to see what passes there, imposes upon himself, imagining that he is something while he is nothing. His eyes being always fixed on his exterior actions, he flatters himself that he goes on well, and neither sees nor feels the secret worm which gnaws and consumes his heart. He keeps all fasts, assists at all parts of the divine office, and fails in no exercise of piety or penance; yet God declares, '<His heart is far from me.>' He only employs his hands in fulfilling the precepts, and his heart is hard and dry. His duties are complied with by habit and a certain rotation: he omits not a single iota of all his exterior employments; but while he strains at a gnat, he swallows a camel. In his heart he is a slave to self-will, and is a prey to avarice, vain-glory, and ambition: one or other or all these vices together reign in his soul."