Wednesday, February 13, 2013

St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph

St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph lived a simple life, recognizing his sinfulness, but not letting it obstruct his destiny. He remained humble and would always think of others before himself.

Francis Anthony Postillo was born in Taranto, Apulia, a region of Southern Italy, on 16 November 1729 to very poor parents. He trained to become a rope maker, but truly desired to enter the priesthood. When Francis was 18 years old, his father died, leaving him to support the family. When he was 25 years old, with his family secure, Postillo applied to the Discalced Friars Minor of Saint Peter of Alcantara but was not able to become a priest due to his lack of education. However, Francis did not let this get in the way of the will of God, so he became a lay brother, serving in Naples.

Working for 53 years as the porter and gate-keeper of St. Paschal’s Hospice, Francis would often see the poor and outcast. He helped the sick, specifically lepers, traveling outside of the city to care for those that had been shunned. He also served as cook, and even beggar occasionally for the monastery, giving up all the food that he had obtained to the friars and the poor. He did this while consoling the poor and urging everyone to repent. Francis died of natural causes while in prayer and a large crowd showed up at his funeral to remember such a great soul, who care for the needs of the sick and isolated. He was canonized in 1996 by Pope John Paul II. 

It takes one person to strike up a conversation or even simply smile to brighten up the day of someone who is lonely, which St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph did throughout the entirety of his life. He did not care who they were, if they were poor or sick, he would still help anyone in need. Additionally, Postillo showed that nothing is impossible when you trust in God. Even though he was not able to become a priest, St. Giles Mary did amazing things in his lifetime that improved the life of many people. 

“Love God, love God”
-St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph


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