top of page

April 2

Saint of the day:

Saint Francis of Paola

Patron Saint of Calabria; Amato; La Chorrera, Panama; boatmen, mariners, and naval officers

The Story of Saint Francis of Paola


Francis was born at Paola, Italy and was educated at the Franciscan friary of San Marco there, and when fifteen became a hermit near Paola. In 1436, he and two companions began a community that is considered the foundation of the Minim Friars. He built a monastery where he had led his eremitical life some fifteen years later and set a Rule for his followers emphasizing penance, charity, and humility, and added to the three monastic vows, one of fasting and abstinence from meat; he also wrote a rule for tertiaries and nuns. He was credited with many miracles and had the gifts of prophesy and insight into men's hearts. The Order was approved by Pope Sixtus IV in 1474 with the name Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi (changed to Minim Friars in 1492). Francis established foundations in southern Italy and Sicily, and his fame was such that at the request of dying King Louis XI of France, Pope Sixtus II ordered him to France, as the King felt he could be cured by Francis. He was not, but was so comforted that Louis' son Charles VIII, became Francis' friend and endowed several monasteries for the Minims. Francis spent the rest of his life at the monastery of Plessis, France, which Charles built for him. Francis died there on April 2nd and was canonized in 1519. His feast day is April 2.









Basilica di San Francesco di Paola

(Basilica of St Francis of Paola)

Largo San Francesco di Paola

87027 Paola, Italy

*In 1482 King Louis XI of France requested the presence of St Francis of Paola at his side as he neared death. St Francis was at first reluctant to accept the king’s request because he did not want to leave his native Italy. However, upon the urging of Pope Sixtus IV he acquiesced. St Francis of Paola then remained in France for the next 25 years providing counsel to the French kings. He died in 1507 and was buried in Plessis. In 1562 his tomb was forcefully opened, his incorrupt body plundered, and the majority of his relics destroyed by French Huguenots. The few bones that escaped destruction were later taken to Paola, Italy. These bones now rest within this church.



The Bartlett pear is called “The Good Christian” in France, after St. Francis of Paola introduced it!


‘Poire bon Chretien’ (good Christian pear)

“Said to have originated in Calabria in southern Italy, Bartletts probably were introduced to France by St. Francis of Paola.

St. Francis brought a young tree as a gift for King Louis XI of France, who had summoned him in the hope that the saint would miraculously cure the king’s many illnesses. When the king died in 1483, St. Francis returned to Italy, but he left behind the legacy of his pear tree, called by the French the

‘poire bon chretien’ (good Christian pear).”

Bartlett Pear Tarte Tatin


  •        7 Bartlett pears (firm)

  •        4 oz granulated sugar

  •        2 oz butter

  •        1 vanilla bean

  •        1 sheet of puff pastry (cut 28 cm circle)



1.    Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Peel the pear, using a parisan scoop, remove the core and cut into quarters. 

2.    Place sugar into a frypan, and place on high heat, when the sugar turns to a caramel color add the pears, butter and vanilla. 

3.    Cook the pears until they just take color and are coated in caramel. Turn the pears to face down on the pan in a circular pattern and set aside. 

4.    Place the pears back in the pan with the caramel and place puff pastry over the top of pears and tuck down the sides. 

5.    Place the pears in to the oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is cooked. Turn the pan upside down to flip out. Cut into quarters and serve with ice cream.

IMG_4724 2.JPG
bottom of page