Francis of Paula

Francis of Paula founder of the order of Minims, was born at Paula, in Calabria, in 1416. He was brought up in a Franciscan convent at St. Mark, where he distinguished himself by rigid asceticism. In order to exceed St. Francis himself in austerity of life, he retired to a cell on the desert part of the Oast where he soon obtained followers, built a monastery in 1436, and thus commenced a new order, called Hermits of St. Francis. Sixtus IV confirmed the statutes, and named Francis superior general, 1474. He enjoined on his disciples a total abstinence from wine, flesh, and fish; besides which, they were always to go barefoot, and never to sleep on a bed. Alexander VI changed the name of the order to Minims, as better expressing the hummility professed by the new monks. Francis died at Plessis-les-Tours, in France, April 2, 1507, and was canonized by Leo X Francis was in high favor with Louis XI, Charles VIII, and Louis XII of France, and established many houses of his order in that kingdom, where they are called Bons Iiommes. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 18:489; Hilarian de Coste, Le Portrait en petit de St. Francois de Paul (Paris, 1655).

 
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