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St. Pascal Baylon

St. Pascal Baylon by Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist Narrative:

San Pascual was a 16th century Spanish shepherd who became a Franciscan lay brother. He served his fellow Franciscans in various capacities and monasteries as shepherd, gardener, porter, and cook. Since childhood he had developed a deep sense of the presence of God and was particularly devoted to the Eucharist. San Pascual was known for his administrations to the poor and for his many miraculous cures.

Today San Pascual is chiefly known as a patron of the kitchen in token of his work as a cook. In religious art he is shown dressed in the brown robes of a Franciscan, kneeling in a kitchen while in rapt contemplation of the Eucharistic host suspended mid-air in a monstrance. In New Mexico his image has become an ubiquitous element of “Santa Fe-inspired” décor. San Pascual is patron of shepherds, cooks, and Eucharistic Congresses and associations.

His feast day is May 17.

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Pascal was the son of the pious peasants Martin Baylon and Elizabeth Jubera. From youth he displayed great devotion to the Eucharist. He worked as a shepherd from ages 7 to 24, and was a good influence on an often rowdy group. Pascal was a Franciscan lay brother with friars of the Alcantarine Reform, often serving as cook or doorkeeper. His charity to the poor and afflicted, his unfailing courtesy and humility were remarkable even by Franciscan standards.

While travelling in France, he defended the Real Presence against the blasphemies of a Calvinist preacher, and narrowly escaped death at the hands of a Huguenot mob. Poorly educated, he was still a counselor sought by rich and poor alike. His cultus is especially strong in Spain and southern Italy, in Central and South America.

Born: May 24, 1540 (feast of Pentecost) at Torre Hermosa, Aragon, (modern Spain)

Died: May 15, 1592 (Whitsunday) at Villa Reale, Spain

Beatified: October 29, 1618 by Pope Paul V

Canonized: October 16, 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII