Blessed Francisco Palau y Quer

memorial: 7 Nov.

Francisco Palau was born in Aytona, Lerida, Spain on December 29, 1811, of a poor but devout family. He entered the Discalced Carmelite Order in 1832 and was ordained priest in 1836. Civil turmoil forced him to live in exile and outside his community. On his return to Spain in 1851, he founded his "School of Virtue" -- which was a model of catechetical teaching -- at Barcelona. The school was suppressed and he was unjustly exiled to Ibiza (1854-1860). Banished by an anticlerical government to the island of Ibiza, he evangelised the people of the island and often spent days and nights praying in a cave on the rock of La Vedra, in the manner of the ancient hermits on Mount Carmel. He was later rehabilitated and returned to continue his ministry on the mainland. While in the Balearic Islands he founded the Congregations of Carmelite Brothers and Carmelite Sisters (1860-1861). He preached popular missions and spread love of Our Lady wherever he went. He died at Tarragona on March 20, 1872, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1988.

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