Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

2nd June

 

 

Blessed Herculan of Piagale

 

Confessor, First Order

 

When the Franciscan Order shone with the glory of saints such as Bernadine of Sienna and John Capistran it was also adorned by Blessed Herculan of Piagale who was famous for his preaching on penance. He was the heir of a wealthy family of Piagale near Perugia. As a very young man he rescinded all his worldly goods to serve God and to save souls according to the ways of St. Francis. Receiving the habit in the convent of Sarteano where he had the great Albert of Sarteano as his mentor.

Herculean proved worthy of such a master  when he received holy orders and appointed to the office of preaching; Attracting large crowds his preaching brought about extraordinary conversions. He discovered that the most effective way to convert sinners was to preach on the sufferings of Christ.

In Aquila one year on Good Friday he so convincingly portrayed the sufferings of Christ that the whole congregation broke out in tears. A woman standing quite near to him and not as affected as the others said to him that there had been tears enough and not to cause any more. The saint replied that there never could be enough weeping for the sufferings of the Christ, for such tears are cleansing for the soul, and didn’t our Lord shed more blood than we can ever shed tears.

Herculan not only preached the sufferings of Christ but meditated on them night and day, his tears burning as he pleaded for mercy for sinners; he added to this devotion the severest mortification, at times fasting so severely that the Eucharist seemed to be his only food.

During the Lent of 1430 when he was preaching in Lucca cathedral the town was besieged by the Florentines, concerned also for the physical welfare of his flock he urged the townspeople to defend their city courageously and persistently.

Later, when famine broke out he urged the rich to share their food with the poor and was inspired by the holy spirit to say that fresh provisions would arrive by Easter time and also assistance against their enemies- and so it was that at Easter grain was successfully brought into the city, followed by the Milanese to defend the town causing the Florentines to make a hasty retreat.

The town of Lucca was so grateful to Fr. Herculean that they built three convents for the Franciscan Order in its area. On May 28th 1451, after continuous exhausting ministry, Herculan died in one of these convents; many miracles glorified his tomb. I 1660 pope Pius IX sanctioned the veneration paid to him since his death. Both Franciscans and Capuchins celebrate the feast of Blessed Herculean   on June 2nd.

 

 

 

Prayer of the Church

 

O God, who by the ministry of blessed Herculan didst urge the

faithful to despise this world, and to be mindful of the sufferings

of Thy Divine Son, grant us the grace of despising earthly things

and of bearing our cross here below, that one day we may attain

to the possession of the eternal blessings.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 

 

Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

 

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Last edited 13/09/2017 06:26 
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