12 October 2009

Saint Francisco Coll y Guitart

12 OCTOBER 2009. Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI canonized a new Dominican saint. Although today is not his feast day, let's take this opportunity to learn about, now, Saint Francisco Coll y Guitart.

Born in 1812 in Grombeny, Catalan Pyrenees, Spain, Saint Francisco was one of ten children, and only 4 when his father died. Saint Francisco was confirmed at the age of 6 in 1818, and entered the seminary in Vichy, France in 1822 at the age of only 10. Saint Anthony Mary Claret was a fellow seminary student.

As a child, Saint Francisco taught grammar and catechism to local children in France. He joined the Dominican Order in 1830 at the age of 18. When religious orders were suppressed in France, Saint Francisco continued his studies covertly.

Saint Francisco was ordained on 28 March 1836. Assigned to Moya in 1839, an area ravaged by war, Saint Francisco established charitable organizations to feed and house the many refugees. Saint Francisco worked with the poor and displaced for 10 years. In 1850 Saint Francisco re-opened a suppressed Dominican monastery, and began a program of preaching throughout the Catalan region.

When the cholera epidemic struck in 1854, Saint Francisco worked to minister to cholera victims. He founded the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (La Annunciata) in 1856, a teaching branch of tertiaries

Saint Franciso was struck blind while delivering a homily given at Sallent on 2 December 1869. After that event, Saint Francisco's health never fully recovered, but he refused to retire. When the suppression of religious orders was lifted in 1872, and the Dominicans officially returned, they found that Saint Francisco has kept the necessary structures--physical and administrative--in place. Therefore, the Order could take up their ministry where it had been left off.

Saint Francisco was a popular preacher of missions in various dioceses of North Eastern Spain. Those who knew him characterized his life by his fervent zeal for preaching; he prayed long hours, studied, and dedicated a great deal of time to preparing the sermons for his missions.

Saint Francisco died on 2 April 1875 in Vic, Barcelona, Spain. By the time of his death, the order he had founded had grown to 50 houses; today there are over 140 in Europe and America.

Saint Francisco was beatified by the great Pope John Paul II on 29 April 1979. He was canonized yesterday by Pope Benedict XVI. Saint Francisco's feast day is 2 April.


God of all truth, you chose Saint Francis to make known the name of your Son and to instruct Christian people in holiness. By the help of his prayers may the true faith be continually sustained and grow through the ministry of preaching. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons


  1. When is his feast day? Is it going to be on October 11, or a different day?

  2. “Hello Jody! I want to let you know about an awesome group called “Kepha, the Brotherhood of the Iron Will.” I am in hopes after you check out our website you would consider joining and helping to promote Kepha. All Kepha needs is more eyes looking at the website and God will do the rest. Kepha is a growing brotherhood of Catholic fathers and sons in seven states that are faithful to the Holy Father. We promote the Culture of Life through monthly retreats and shared daily prayers and provoke each other to Heaven according to our motto, "Dynamic Orthodoxy, Infectious Joy."

    Kepha is a high-octane Catholicism rejecting spiritual laziness and moral compromise. We are under the patronage of our "BIG 3": St. John Bosco, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Kepha members agree to live by 5 commitments : Apologetics, Brotherhood, Charity, Mortification and Prayer.

    Kepha is a non-profit organization with chapters in Texas and Louisiana. If you know of any men who are looking for an excellent way to strengthen their relationships with their sons, then please tell them about Kepha.

    You can find out more information on our web site at www.kepharocks.org

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    God bless you!

    Corey Harned

  3. Kevin,

    I have not seen anything that indicates Saint Francisco's feast day will be changed from its pre-canonization spot on the calendar, April 2. If anyone knows differently, hopefully they will chime in.

  4. Thanks Corey. I am familiar with the word "kepha" or rock (in Aramaic). I will look into your organization.

  5. His feast is April 2nd. Does anyone know what miracles he performed?