~ St. Paschal Baylon ~
The notice of St. Paschal Baylon in the Roman Martyrology tells us not only that he was a man of wonderful innocence and austerity of life, but also that he has been proclaimed by the Holy See patron of all eucharistic congresses and confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament. It is a striking fact that a humble friar, of peasant birth, who was never even a priest, whose name in his own day was hardly known to any but his townsfolk in a corner of Spain, should now from his place in Heaven preside over those imposing assemblies of the Catholic Church.
It is, however, as the Saint of the Eucharist that St. Paschal is best remembered outside his own country. Many years before the great work on annual eucharistic congresses was instituted and our saint was nominated its patron, the title-page of Father Salmeron's Spanish biography bore the heading Vida del Santo del Sacramento S. Pascual Bailon. The long hours which he spent before the tabernacle, kneeling without support, his clasped hands held up in front of, or higher than, his face, had left a deep impression upon his brethren. No wonder that he was for them the "Saint of the Blessed Sacrament." The recognition of this special characteristic goes back to his earliest biographer. Ximenes tells us how the good brother, whenever he had a moment free from his other duties, invariably made his way to the church to honor the presence of our Lord, how it was his delight to serve Mass after Mass in succession beginning with the very earliest, how he stayed behind in choir when after Matins and Lauds the rest of the community had retired again to sleep, and how the dawn found him still on his knees, eager as soon as the bell range to visit the altars at which the Holy Sacrifice was to be offered.