Saint of the Day – 17 May – St Paschal Baylon OFM (1540-1592) Servant of the Blessed Sacrament

Saint of the Day – 17 May – St Paschal Baylon OFM (16 May 1540 – 17 May 1592) Spanish Lay Brother “Seraph of the Eucharist,” “Saint of the Blessed Sacrament,” “Servant of the Blessed Sacrament,” Franciscan Lay Brother, Mystic…….. Also known as – Pasquale, PascaL. Paschal was Beatified on 29 October 1618 by Pope Paul V and Canonised on 16 October 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII. Pope Leo XIII[7] proclaimed the saint as the “Seraph of the Eucharist” as well as the Patron of Eucharistic congresses and affiliated associations.

The Roman Martyrology states: “At Villa Real near Valencia in Spain, Saint Pasquale Baylon, a religious of the Order of Friars Minor, who, always showing himself caring and kind to everyone, constantly venerated the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist with fervent love.”

Childhood and early years:
Let’s start by saying that the Spanish name Pasquale, is of Christian origin and is also widely used in the feminine – Pasqualina. It was given to children born on Easter Sunday but its distant origins are Jewish (Pesach = passage) meaning the passage of the Jewish people through the Red Sea and the passage of the Angel of the Lord, who saved, the Jewish firstborns, by marking their houses with the blood of the lamb, to distinguish them from the Egyptians, who were destined for death, in the last plague of Egypt.
However, this is not the case with Pasquale Baylon, who was born on 16 May 1540, the day of Pentecost (which is also called in Spanish, “Pascua de Pentecostés.” From his childhood, he showed a marked devotion to the Holy Eucharist, which would later become the centre of his entire religious life.
He was a shepherd first of the family’s flock, then in the service of other masters. The solitude of the fields favoured meditation, his desire for continuous prayer. He also began to mortify his young body with long fasts and painful flagellations.

Franciscan vocation:
At the age of 18 he asked to join the Convent of Santa Maria di Loreto, of the Reformed Franciscans called Alcantarini by St Peter of Alcantara, reformer of the Order. But he was not accepted, perhaps due to his young age.
In order to remain in the vicinity of the Convent, he entered the service, again as a shepherd, of the very wealthy landowner, Martín García. Admired by this young employee, he proposed to adopt Paschal, sin order to make him his heir. However, Paschal refused this offer as he was more determined than ever to enter among the Friars of St. Francis.
In 1560, he was admitted to the Convent of St Maria di Loreto, where he made his religious profession on 2 February 1564. He never wanted to ascend to the Priesthood, despite the favourable opinion of his superiors because he did not feel worthy.

Friar, Porter, Cook, gifted with holy wisdom:
For years Paschal fulfilled the various services necessary to the convent, especially as a Porter, a task that he always carried out with great goodness. Although so young, he acquired a reputation for holiness, for his Christian virtues but also for the miraculous deeds attributed to him.
He was truly “Pentecostal,” that is, favoured by the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, including that of wisdom: he could read and write but he was not very cultured. Still, he was constantly asked for advice by many illustrious persons

On mission among the Calvinists:
In 1576, even the Provincial Father of the Alcantarins of Spain, having to communicate urgently with the Father General residing in Paris, thought of sending Brother Paschal with the letter, knowing full well the serious difficulties of the journey, for the crossing of some French Provinces, which at that time were dominated by Calvinists.
In fact, the Friar was made the object of continuous derision, insults, beatings. In Orléans, he too was in danger of death by stoning! There, Paschal had disputed with the Calvinist in regard to the Holy Eucharist debunking their false arguments.

“São Pascoal Bailão adora a Eucaristia” – Convento de São Pedro de Alcântara, Arenas de San Pedro (Espanha) – Foto: Francisco Lecaros

Seraph of the Eucharist:
On returning from his delicate and dangerous mission, Paschal composed a small book of definitions and sentences on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and, on the divine power transmitted to the Roman Pontiff. As evidence of this great devotion, for which he was nicknamed “Seraph of the Eucharist,” we have received his personal thoughts and prayers, which he added to the collections of writings on Eucharistic themes.

In order to acquire greater perfection, Paschal underwent continuous and heavy mortifications and increasingly numerous penances, to the point that his health was now compromised. On 17 May 1592, the day after his fifty-second birthday, Paschale died at the Convent of the Rosary in Villarreal, near Valencia. As had happened on the day of his birth, it was Pentecost!
The funeral saw the participation of a crowd of faithful, who wanted to pay homage of heartfelt veneration to the body of the humble lay Franciscan Brother, whose holiness, fand miracles were well-known throughout the Catholic world.

Veneration and iconography:
He was particularly revered in Naples, subject to Spanish domination. The cult was concentrated in two large and famous Franciscan Convents, once belonging to the Alcantarini but still existing – St Paschal a Chiaia and St Paschal Granatello. His name was given to generations of children, especially in Southern Italy.
He was Beatified 26 years after his death, on 29 October 1618, by Pope Paul V and proclaimed a Saint on 16 October 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII. His remains, which were venerated with great devotion in Villarreal, were desecrated and dispersed during the Spanish Civil War; some were later recovered and returned to the City in 1952.
Over the centuries, his passionate devotion to the Eucharist have inspired the many artists who have depicted him. Paschal usually appears in the act of adoring the Blessed Sacrament in a Monstrance.

Official and traditional Patronages:
Pope Leo XIII, on 28 November 1897, proclaimed him Patron of Eucharistic Congresses and Associations. Popularly he is also considered Patron of cooks and pastry chefs, on the basis of his humble services carried out in the Convent – according to tradition, Paschal is the creator of the famous desert called Zabaglione, whose name evidently derives from him. Probably due to a resemblance in the sound of Paschal’s Surname (“St Paschal Baylonne”). Paschal is finally invoked by single women looking for a husband and by women in general.

St Paschal also here:

Sepulchre in Villarrea


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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