A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

OFM Franciscans PH on Twitter: "FRANCISCAN SAINT OF THE DAY St. Didacus of  Alcala, friar, patron of Franciscan laity, I Order, Pray for us | November  13th #OFM #FriarsMinor #LesserBrothers #FranciscanPH #FranciscanSaint #

San Diego de Alcalá (St Didacus of Alcalá OFM, Diego de San Nicolás) (c1400-63). Feast Day for the Sevillian Spanish Franciscan lay brother, a religious, missionary and confessor who served in the first group of missionaries to the newly-conquered Canary Islands. Didacus was sent to the new friary of the Order in Arrecife on Lanzarote, an island conquered by Jean de Béthencourt about 40 years earlier that was still in the process of introducing the native Guanche people to Christianity. He was assigned to the post of porter and in 1445 was appointed Guardian of the Franciscan community on Fuerteventura, where the Observant Franciscans founded the Friary of St Bonaventure. It was an exception to the ordinary rules for a lay brother to be named for this position but his great zeal, prudence and sanctity justified the choice. In 1450, Diego was recalled to Spain and went to Rome, where he spent three months caring for the sick at the friary attached to the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, many being the miraculous cures through his pious intercession. Recalled to Spain, he was sent to the Friary of Santa María de Jesús in Alcalá, Toledo where he spent the remaining years of his life in penance, solitude and the delights of contemplation. Didacus died on 12 November 1463 in Alcalá de Henares. A chapel, the Ermita de San Diego, was built in Didacus’s birthplace between 1485 and 1514 to enshrine his remains in his native town. Venerated in Catholic Church. Major shrine Ermita de San Diego, San Nicolás del Puerto, Seville. His feast day is celebrated on 13 November, as the 12 November anniversary of his death was occupied by St Josaphat Kuntsevych. Until 1969, the Franciscans celebrated his Feast Day on 12 November and the Franciscan Order in the United States and the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego celebrate on 7 November, due to the local Feast Day for St Frances Xavier Cabrini. Didacus is the saint to whom the Franciscan mission that bears his name and developed into the City of San Diego, California, was dedicated and he is patron of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. Image: twitter.com.

St. Frances Cabrini

Santa Francesca Cabrini (St Frances Xavier Cabrini MSC, Mother Cabrini, Maria Francesca Cabrini) (1850-1917). USA Feast Day for Roman Catholic virgin nun born in Lombardy-Venetia (present-day Lombardy), a religious and the foundress of a Catholic religious institute that was a major support to Italian immigrants to the USA. Cabrini became the headmistress of the House of Providence orphanage in Codogno, Lombardy and drew a small community of women to live a religious way of life. Taking her religious vows at 27, she helped found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, composed its Rule and Constitutions and continued as its superior general until her death. The sisters took in orphans and foundlings, opened a day school to help pay expenses, started classes in needlework and sold their fine embroidery. In its first five years, the institute established 7 homes and a free school and nursery. Although in 1877 she had wished to establish missions in China, Cabrini went to the USA in 1889 with six other sisters to help the flood of Italian immigrants who were living in great poverty. They founded in New York the Sacred Heart Orphan Asylum, later renamed the Saint Cabrini Home, and the Columbus Hospital, which merged with the Italian Hospital to become Cabrini Medical Center. In Chicago, the sisters opened the Columbus Hospital in Lincoln Park and Columbus Extension Hospital, later renamed the St Cabrini Hospital, in the heart of the city’s Italian neighbourhood. Long before government agencies provided extensive social services, she founded 67 missionary institutions to serve the sick and poor in New York, Chicago and Des Plaines, Illinois, Seattle, Nebraska, New Orleans, Denver and Golden, Colorado, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and in countries throughout Latin America and Europe. Cabrini died from malaria in Columbus Hospital, Chicago on 22 December 1917, preparing Christmas candy for the local children. Her resting place is the St Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine, Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan, New York. Other major shrines National Shrine of Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, Chicago, Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado. Her beatification miracle involved restoring the sight of a day-old baby and she was the first USA citizen to be canonised as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, on 7 July 1946. In 1975, Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first canonised saint who was born in what is now the USA. Cabrini is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church with a Feast Day on 22 December outside the USA. Long after her death, the Missionary Sisters would achieve Cabrini’s original goal of being missionaries to China. Patron of immigrants, hospital administrators and, informally, finding a parking space. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.

Prayer Almighty and Eternal Father, Giver of all Gifts, show us Your mercy, and grant, we beseech You, through the merits of Your faithful Servant, St Frances Xavier Cabrini, that all who invoke her intercession may obtain what they desire according to the good pleasure of Your Holy Will. Amen

Notre-Dame de Nanteuil

Notre-Dame de Nanteuil (Our Lady of Nanteuil). This late-First-Century shrine is one of the oldest in France, the first Christians in the area having found the statue on the branch of an oak tree and placed it on a wall near a fountain. The statue did not stay there but returned to the branch of the oak tree. The first chapel was thus built around the tree, an early Twelfth-Century parish church and priory eventually being built nearby in gratitude after a thirsting army had been drenched by rain before their victory over the King of England. The devotion of Kings and Lords to the Virgin of Nanteuil was shared by the people when they came on pilgrimage, especially on the Monday of Pentecost, and this led to a famous Fourteenth-Century fair that still continues. Although the religious upheavals of the Sixteenth Century left Our Lady of Nanteuil undisturbed, before the French Revolution her smiling face became sad and many pilgrims testified to seeing tears on her cheeks, the Revolution indeed bringing the destruction of the statue. Only the head remained and this caused the death of a woman who threw it away. Another woman hid the mutilated head until a new body could be safely made. One of the many miracles recorded of Our Lady of Nanteuil is the cure of a crippled boy on his third pilgrimage with his mother, the shrine being famous for the cure of sick children. Image: experienceloire.com.