St. Paschal: Seraph Of The Eucharist

by Adoration, Eucharist, May, Saints

I stared at my computer at the half-written essay. I had been working on it for one of my toughest classes and feared it wouldn’t be finished before it was due at 11:59pm that night. I also knew that I might not have been able to finish, because our soccer team had a scheduled holy hour together in the chapel that same evening. Should I attempt to finish the paper in time? Should I abandon all hope and take the rest of the night off? 

I resolved to embrace a third option – I’d ask my coach if I could skip the holy hour to focus on my work and buy myself more time. However, interestingly, my coach responded, “I understand, but come to the holy hour. You would be surprised at how the Lord can bless and enrich your work.” Initially, this statement caught me off-guard. However, maybe I needed to let go of my worries, step back, and surrender my time to God in prayer. I suddenly felt a sense of calm and went to the team holy hour.

After that, I had my essay finished in a few hours, with time to spare.

Granted, this is not always how it works, because our will may not always be what God has in mind. But, as it turned out, I needed Him in that moment. Had I believed the lie that I couldn’t fit the holy hour in, and not listened to my coach’s advice, I might’ve been in an even worse state of stress…but I’m thankful I didn’t.

Not Enough Time

Not enough time. This is something that many of us today often live by and base our decisions upon. We fill up our schedules to the brim, and struggle to find a chance to do even simple things at times. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing necessarily wrong with being busy. It becomes problematic when we neglect to prioritize the most important things. One of these is spending time with the Lord. 

Arguably the most significant part of our day, regardless of how busy of a schedule we have, is intentionally setting aside time for God. This is a task that many of us can struggle with, however, it is one that reaps the greatest reward. The Lord deserves our precious time, and He loves and desires to be with us. One of the best ways that we can have personal time with God, is by visiting Him in the Blessed Sacrament. We as Catholics often take for granted this gift that has been given to us. We have intimate access to God Himself in the Eucharist all the time. 

Oftentimes, we don’t realize how good we have it – unlike a certain saint named Paschal Baylón.

St. Paschal Baylon

St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Theresa of Avila, and St. Francis Xavier are only a few of the great saints that lived during the 16th century in Spain, known as the Church’s “Golden Age”. One that we may not be as familiar with is St. Paschal Baylón. Born in Torrehermosa, Spain, he grew up poor, but was blessed with devout parents – Martin and Elizabeth Jubera Baylón. Paschal spent the first 24 years of his life as a shepherd, working in the hills of Aragon. He then became a lay professed religious of the Order of Friars Minor, which is part of the Franciscan Order. Paschal was known for his honesty and humility, and he lived a life of great penance. As a brother who belonged to various friaries in Spain, he took on many jobs: porter, beggar, cook, and gardener, to name a few. Often, during his work, Paschal would stop what he was doing to pray when he heard the Church bells, which rang during the Consecration at the Mass. He was also known for having a powerful way of speaking with heretics about the mysteries of the Catholic faith, due to his great love of it. 

A Saint Devoted To The Blessed Sacrament

St. Paschal Baylón had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Spending all his spare time in prayer and meditation, Paschal would go to adoration before the Lord whenever he could. He would often be found in the chapel, lying prostrate on the floor in prayer in front of the tabernacle. God blessed his devotion, and Paschal experienced multiple visions and miracles. On one occasion, as he heard the Church bells ring and knelt in prayer, he beheld a vision of angels in the air presenting the Blessed Sacrament to him in a monstrance, surrounded by a great light. 

People took notice of his humble but fervent pursuit of the Lord, and his love of the Holy Eucharist. They admired the way he prioritized adoration of the Blessed Sacrament above everything else. This caused many to seek his counsel and to look to him as an example. 

Even after his death in 1592, St. Paschal Baylón continues to inspire people with his story and his admirable faith. Many people journeyed to his tomb in Villarreal, Spain, and experienced miracles immediately. Christian art usually depicts him adorning the Blessed Sacrament, to signify his ardent devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Paschal was canonized as a saint in 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII, and his feast day is celebrated on May 17th. Pope Leo XIII later named him patron saint of Eucharist congresses and societies, and of shepherds in 1897. He also proclaimed Paschal as the “Seraph of the Eucharist”. 

As a tremendous role model of the Catholic faith, St. Paschal Baylón demonstrates the power of living the humble, simple life for God. He sought to promote the adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and to communicate its grace and merit.

“God is as really present in the consecrated Host as he is in the glory of heaven.”
 

St. Paschal Baylon

I’m thankful that I listened to my coach and attended the holy hour that day, as it opened my eyes to the fact that God wants to share in our lives, and He wants to bless us throughout our work. We should not think of spending time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament as a chore or difficult to do. However, we must choose to do it. Time in adoration of the Eucharist reaps great reward, and God sees your heart. It is a blessing in itself – that we get to be so close with Him, even if all we do is sit and be in His presence. 

St. Paschal Baylón was a busy man, as most of us can relate to. However, he understood that adoring God in the Blessed Sacrament was something that he must prioritize. Even if he only had a limited amount of time to pray, he would do it. If you have an hour, or even ten minutes, you can spend it well with the Lord in prayer and meditation, following the example of the great “Seraph of the Eucharist”.

One thing is guaranteed – you will not regret it. Coming to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament will change your life.

Prayer to St. Paschal Baylón:

O God, who didst adorn blessed Paschal Thy Confessor with a wonderful love for the holy Mysteries of Thy Body and Blood: mercifully grant that we too may be worthy to receive the rich spiritual graces which he received from this divine banquet, who lives and reigns with God the Father. Amen.

1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal


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Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/51184516097/in/faves-65456939@N04/

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