SAINT PASCHAL BAYLON
During the Season of Easter, it is truly fitting that we pray with Saint Paschal Baylon. He was born on Pentecost Sunday in 1540. He died on Pentecost Sunday in 1592. And he is named for the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection.
Paschal Baylon was a Franciscan friar in Spain. Before joining the Order of Friars Minor in 1564, he worked as a shepherd. He always brought a book into the fields with the hope that someone who could read would pass by and help him learn. And someone did. He later explained his reasons for wanting to become a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi. He wrote: “I was born poor and I am resolved to die in poverty and penance.”
And so, Brother Pascal lived an austere life of prayer and simplicity. He was not a priest. But he served the order in various ways that affirmed his vocation to the simple life: cook, gardener, gatekeeper, and mendicant. He was, for a time, the official beggar of Saint Joseph’s convent. He is best remembered, however, as a contemplative and a mystic who experienced ecstatic visions during extended periods of prayer before the Holy Eucharist. It was the joy of his life to pray in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Saint Paschal Baylon was proclaimed a Seraph of the Eucharist by Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903). A seraph is an angelic being, part of the highest order of the heavenly host. And a seraph is associated with light, love, and purity of mind, body, and spirit.
Over long years, Saint Paschal Baylon’s tomb has been the site of many reported miracles. More than four hundred years after his death, he is still venerated as patron of sons, cooks, Eucharistic Congresses, and Eucharistic Associations. His feast is celebrated on May 17th, the day that he passed from this life into eternal life.
As we think on the Resurrection of the Lord, we pray for the grace to model our lives on the Gospel like Saint Paschal Baylon. We pray for the blessing to remember our spiritual poverty, that is, our complete dependence on divine grace. We pray for the courage to share God’s love and mercy with every thought, word, and deed. And as we celebrate the life and legacy of Saint Paschal Baylon, we turn with him in prayer and we reflect on the search for god, the boundless love of God, and the utter poverty of the human condition.
From the Writings of Saint Paschal Baylon
Seek God above all things.
It is right for you to seek God
before and above all else,
because God wants you to have
what you ask of him.
This will make you more ready
to serve God and it will help you
to love him more perfectly.
Let your prayers be motivated by this intention;
and when you pray, do so out of love,
in season and out of season.
Detach your heart from the things of this world.
Consider that there is noting in this world
except for you and God.
Never, not even for the briefest moment,
turn your heart away from God.
Let your thinking be lowly and simple.
Without weariness, always focus your attention
on what is above.
Let the love of God
be like oil poured over everything.
Whenever you receive some gift from the Lord,
offer yourself to him entirely
with joy and gladness.
Humble and despise yourself.
Renounce your own will,
so that you may devote yourself, body and soul,
to the Lord’s service.
Make frequent, even countless acts
of praise and thanksgiving.
Rejoice in God’s power and goodness.
God grants you favors and blessings
for which you owe him thanks.
Rejoice and exult!
You have been enriched
with graces and blessings!
Place little value
on your own good or advantage
so that you can serve the Lord
more and more faithfully.
Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
A Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Paschal Baylon
Almighty God and Father,
you blessed your servant, Saint Paschal Baylon,
with a wonderful for the mysteries
of your Body and Blood.
Grant that we may join him in your Divine Banquet,
and so share in your boundless love and mercy.
We make this prayer through Christ Jesus,
our Risen Lord and Savior. Amen.
Saint Paschal Baylon, pray for us!
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
About the Presenter
Cliff Garvey is a co-founder of the Assisi Project. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Saint John Seminary College, and the Catholic University of America. Cliff is a writer, spiritual director, retreat leader, and university lecturer. He also serves as Associate Minister of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport in Massachusetts where his ministry focuses on adult faith formation. Thank you for listening to Saint Paschal Baylon: Seraph of the Eucharist. The Assisi Project Podcast is produced by the Assisi Project, Inc. For more information about the Assisi Project: A Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit and our programs and ministries for adults of all ages and backgrounds, please contact Cliff at email@example.com. Copyright 2022. All rights reserved. May the Lord give you peace!
Art Credit: Saint Paschal Baylon Adoring the Blessed Sacrament (Detail) by Claude Francois (1615-1685); Metropolitan Museum of Art (Open Access)
Founded in 2007, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit with friends and followers throughout the world. We are dedicated to helping Christian believers of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. The Assisi Project is a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization. All are welcome to support our ministry via PayPal or AmazonSmile (see links below); or by sending a tax-deductible donation to the Assisi Project, Post Office Box 3158, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931-3158. For more information about the Assisi Project, please contact Cliff Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org. May the Lord give you peace!
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