Saint Didacus

Feast Day - November 12

Patron of the Diocese of San Diego, California; Franciscan Laity


His impoverished parents placed him as a child in the care of a hermit living not far from San Nicolás del Puerto Seville - Spain, his native town.  Feeling called to the religious life, he applied for admission to the Franciscan Order at the convent of Arizafa and was received as a lay brother.  In 1445 he was chosen guardian of the Franciscan community on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, where in 1446, the Observantist Franciscans founded the Convent of San Buenaventura.  There, though it was an exception to the ordinary rules for a lay brother to be made superior; his great zeal, prudence, and sanctity justified this choice.

Didacus developed a reputation for great insight into God’s ways. His penances were heroic. He was so generous with the poor that the friars sometimes grew uneasy about his charity.

Didacus volunteered for the missions in the Canary Islands and labored there energetically and profitably.  He was also the superior of a friary there.

In 1450 he was sent to Rome to attend the canonization of St. Bernardine of Siena. When many friars gathered for that celebration fell sick, Didacus stayed in Rome for three months to nurse them. After he returned to Spain, he pursued a life of contemplation full-time. He showed the friars the wisdom of God’s ways.

As he was dying, Didacus looked at a crucifix and said: "O faithful wood, O precious nails! You have borne an exceedingly sweet burden, for you have been judged worthy to bear the Lord and King of heaven" (Marion A. Habig, O.F.M., The Franciscan Book of Saints, p. 834).

San Diego, California, is named for this Franciscan, who was canonized in 1588.

Symbols: Bread and roses in a tunic; cross held by an angel.

 

Almighty and everlasting God, who by Your wonderful providence choose the weak things of the world to confound the strong, mercifully grant unto us, Your humble servants, that through the prayers of Blessed Didacus, Your Confessor, we may become worthy to be lifted up to eternal glory in heaven. Amen

 


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St. Patrick's Church at Moody Air Force Base