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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
St. Paulinus of Nola
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Double (1955 Calendar): June 22

St. Paulinus, whose feastday we celebrate today, was born in 354 to a wealthy Roman family in Gaul.  His father was the praetorian prefer of Gaul, and as such, his status helped ensure that Paulinus received a complete education.  St. Paulinus eventually became a lawyer and then the prefer of Rome.  He married a Spanish noblewoman and lived a life of luxury.

In 390, tragedy struck in the death of Paulinus' son.  Immediately following, he retreated from his earthly affairs and was baptized by St. Delphinus in Aquitaine.  Along with his wife, he gave away all of his earthly possessions to the poor and the Church.  Together, they lived a life of penance and sought true Christian perfection.

In 393 AD, St. Paulinus was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Barcelona, who nearly forced the duty on the saint.  After his ordination, he moved to an estate near the tomb of St. Nola in Naples.  Along with his wife (as this was back before the days of obligatory priestly celebacy), they established a community of monks and continued their austere life.  He went so far as to sell all of his estates in Gaul and divide the money to the poor.  He was not lacking in charitable works - helping to build hospitals, aqueducts, and basilicas.

In 409 AD, he was elected as Bishop of Nola, serving in that holy office until his death in 431.  He was a friend of Ss Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, and the others of that era.  He was also a gifted poet and the author of more than 51 letters, 32 poems, and several pieces of prose.

Collect:

O God, You promised a hundredfold reward and eternal life to those who forsake the world for Your sake. May we walk in the footsteps of Your holy bishop Paulinus, despising the things of the earth and desiring only those of heaven; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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