St Paschal Baylon

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Franciscan laybrother. Patron of Eucharistic devotions. St Paschal was born in 1540 at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon. He came from a poor shepherd family. In 1564 he joined the reformed Friars Minor of Peter of Alcantara at the convent of Loreto.

Paschal worked very hard with the sick and poor and was known for his good humour. One day he was observed performing an elaborate dance before a statue of Our Lady in the refectory. From the early morning he would pray for hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament before serving one Mass after another.

One day he was sent to deliver some letters to the Breton Minister General in France. On his journey he was stoned twice by by the Huguenots. Although he managed to complete the task, he suffered from the effects of his injuries until his death in 1592 at the friary of Villareal.

Many miracles and cures were reported at his tomb. In 1618 he was beatified and in 1690 he was canonised.