‘Francis of Paola founded the Minim Order, a branch of the Franciscans (1454). These “Hermits of St Francis of Assisi” dwelt in small houses, and as “least” brethren, endeavoured to live a more austere and humble life than the “Fratres Minores”.
The saint worked numerous miracles. He had a favourite ejaculation, one that welled up from the depths of his physical and spiritual being: “Out of love”. This was an all-powerful ejaculation for him and for his companions. “Out of love” the heaviest stone was light; “Out of love” he admonished and punished; “Out of love” he once crossed the sea without a boat.
For on a certain occasion the saint wanted to go from the Italian mainland to Sicily. A boat was lying in the harbour. Francis asked the owner if he would take him and his companion along on the boat. “If you pay, monk”, the sailor answered sulkily, “I will take you along”. “Out of love”, the saint humbly pleaded; “for I have no money with me”. “Then I have no ship for you”, came the mocking reply. “Out of love”, was Francis’ answer, “forgive me if I go away”. He walked about a stone’s throw to the shore, knelt down, and blessed the sea. Then, to the sailor’s great surprise, the saint suddenly stood up, stepped out on the tossing waves, and with firm foot trod over the surging sea.
St Francis of Paola stood high in the esteem of the French king, Louis XI, whom he helped prepare for death’.
from The Church’s Year of Grace, 1953, by Pius Parsch, 1884-1954
O God, who, by exalting the humble, didst raise the blessed Confessor Francis to the glory of thy Saints: grant, we beseech thee; that, through his merits and example, we may attain with gladness unto the rewards promised to them that are lowly of heart; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon