Franciscan Saints  

2nd October

Blessed Nicholas of Forca Palena

Confessor, Third Order

Feast day 1 October

Born in Palena (near Sulmona), Italy, in 1349,Nicholas spent the days of his youth in the practice of prayer and penance. After he had entered the Third Order and had become a priest, he laboured for a time in his native city in a most exemplary way. Then he finally yielded to the strong attraction he felt for a life of solitude, and with several companions who were similarly minded he repaired to a hermitage, first in Rome, then in Naples, and then again in Rome.

 (Nicholas founded the Hermits of St. Jerome (Romitani di San Girolamo), which was later merged into the Hieronymites founded by Blessed Peter of Pisa.  Nicholas established houses at Naples, Rome, and Florence (Benedictines).)

 Nicholas had before him eternity as a goal. That is why he left the world, so that in quiet seclusion he could prepare for a glorious resurrection from the grave and a blessed eternity. Blessed Nicholas of Forca knew that �the world passes away and the concupiscence thereof. But he who does the will of God abides forever. There were some who shook their heads at the life he led, but he had actually chosen the better part.

 When Pope Eugene IV heard of his sanctity, he entrusted to him the direction of several convents in Florence. But in time, Nicholas again returned to Rome, where he founded a convent and a church on the Janiculum in honor of St Onuphrius. Almighty God attested to the holiness of His faithful servant by signs and wonders.

 When Nicholas was one hundred years old, he was called to his eternal reward. The year of his death was 1449. In 1771 Pope Clement IV approved the veneration paid to him. His feast is observed on October first by the Franciscans and the Third Order Regular. (Cf. These Made Peace, pp. 128-129 in Habig, 1959)

Prayer of the church

 O Lord, who dost point out to the wayward the light of Thy

truth, so that they may return to the path of justice, give to all

confessors of Thy name the grace to despise whatever is displeasing

to this name, and to strive after those things which are agreeable to it.

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

Hallack, Cecily and Peter, F., Anson, 1957 ed., Habig, Marion, A., OFM ,These Made Peace: Studies in the Lives of the Beatified and Canonized Members of the Third Order of St Francis of Assisi, Burns and Oates, London and St. Anthony Guild Press, Paterson, NJ. pp. 128-129

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