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Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894], at


THE diocese of Cordova, in Spain, was the birthplace of this Saint, who won many thousands of souls to God. From his earliest years he was characterized by a modest behavior, prudent silence, and edifying meekness.

His education was entrusted to the Jesuit Fathers, and later he entered the Order of St. Francis. Soon

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he excelled every one in the house in humility, obedience, fervor in prayer, and self-denial.

In 1589 he sailed for South America to preach the Gospel to the Indians in Peru. While near shore the ship struck rocks, and there was danger of drowning.

The captain hurried the officers and principal passengers into the only boat there was, and tried to induce the missionary to accompany them; but he refused to do so. Consoling the remaining passengers, he prayed fervently and alone kept up his hope in God's mercy. At last rescuers arrived and all were taken off in safety.

The missionary did not confine his ministry to Lima. He visited the forests and deserts inhabited by the Indians, and by degrees he won their trust and in this way baptized nine thousand Indians. He was then recalled to Lima, which at that time was like a godless Ninive. Francis preached to the hardened sinners, and the whole city became converted.

Finally after a painful sickness his last words being, "God be praised!" his soul departed this earth on July 14, 1610. He was declared Blessed by Pope Clement X. in 1675, and canonized by Benedict XIII. in 1726. St. Francis' feast is held July 24th.

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