St. Francis Solano (1549-1610)

Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Artist's Narrative:
Although this Spanish Franciscan priest had asked to be sent as a missionary to Africa, he ended up in South America, working among the native peoples of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. These people accepted him as a friend because he moved among them with courtesy and kindness, learning their languages and customs. His influence with them was so great that once he stopped a battle simply by walking unarmed into the Indian ranks. His peacekeeping also extended to animals, as when he calmed a maddened bull that was terrorizing a town. When clouds of locusts swarmed over Indian crops, he turned them aside to the mountains instead, by his prayer.

He played the violin as part of his ministry, accompanying hymns and also consoling the sick and the suffering. Often he simply went out among the trees and played music for the sheer pleasure of it and it is said that birds then flocked around him.

After 20 years of missionary work, he died in Peru. His miracles since his death are mostly cures of sick children.

His feast day is July 14.


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