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St. Francis of Paola was born in Paola about the year 1416 of very poor but virtuous parents. He learned to read at the Franciscan convent. A year later he made his residence in solitude about a half mile from Paola in 1432. Two others joined him to share in his devout exercises. Neighbors built them three cells and a chapel and Mass was said for them by a priest from the parish church. This is accepted as the beginning of the Order of Minims in 1436. In 1474 a bull of Sixtus IV confirmed the Order. The Superior General of the Order was St. Francis. He had several other monasteries built. By command of Sixtus IV he was sent to France at the request of Louis XI. Francis converted Louis XI before his death in 1483. His Order was now established in France. Francis spent the last three months in his cell to prepare for his death and eternity. He died in 1508 at 91 years of age.
FEAST DAY- April 2