St. Francis Solano
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 13 of July, repeating indefinitely
This Saint, who was rightfully surnamed “the Apostle of America,” is one of the greatest missionaries that the Franciscan Order has produced. He was born at Montilla (Spain) and was educated by the Jesuits. At the age of twenty he put on the Franciscan habit and was ordained a priest. He preached first in Spain, then in America. In 1589 he set sail for the New World. The ship which was carrying him sank during the crossing. Francis jumped into the sea, holding his crucifix in his hands, and swam ashore. Later, a vessel took him to Lima, where there was a monastery of his Order. Several days later, he set out for the Tucuman, about 1,800 miles from Lima. His amazing apostolate influenced areas as far distant as the vast reaches of Paraguay. God performed numerous, striking miracles on his behalf, in fact, they filled his life in uninterrupted sequence: he cured the sick, restored the dead to life, and sometimes crossed rivers on his cloak. Each of the numerous peoples of Tucuman and Paraguay had their own language; Francis learnt them all so well that he could speak them like the natives. He brought back thousands of sinners and converted an incalculable number of pagans to the Christian faith. He died on July 14, 1610.