Novena Day 7
Blessed Francis Palau y Quer (1811-1872)
“The voice of God leaves no emptiness in the soul, it fills her and does not doubt.”
Blessed Francis Palau y Quer
Feast Day ~ November 7
The seventh of nine children, Francis was born in Spain, in 1811 into a humble farming family of devout Catholics. By age 14, Francis was certain of his vocation to the priesthood, and in 1828 he enrolled in the diocesan seminary in the city of Lleida. He entered the Carmelite order in Barcelona in 1832. Civil war from 1833 to 1839 in Spain brought with it disruption and widespread religious persecution. However, Francis never wavered in his commitment to his vocation, and continued with his theological studies. In the summer of 1835, Francis was arrested by the revolutionary forces and was ultimately forced into living in exile in France and outside his community.
Francis was at last able to return to Barcelona in 1851. However, religious communities were still suppressed, again preventing Francis from living in community. The archbishop of Barcelona appointed him spiritual director of the local seminarians, as well as pastor of a local parish church. It was at this time that Francis founded his “School of Virtue”. The school was suppressed by the government and Francis was exiled to Ibiza, where he lived for the most part in solitude as hermit. In the years 1860-1861, Francis founded the Congregations of Carmelite Brothers and Carmelite Sisters on the island of Majorca. He also spent much of his time preaching retreats that proved very popular among the islanders, as well as spreading love and devotion for Our Lady.
Francis was appointed Director of the Discalced Carmelite tertiaries in Spain in 1867, and wrote a Rule of Life and Constitutions for its members. In 1872, he went to the aid of the Sisters, whose community he had founded, during an outbreak of typhus. On his return journey to Barcelona, he became ill and was taken to the last of his foundations at Tarragona. Francis died there in 1872 at the age of 60.
Francis lived his Carmelite spirituality by promoting love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the need for all – both religious and lay persons – to live their lives in recognizing and returning God’s love.