SAINTS

SEPT. 24: ST. PACIFICUS OF SAN SEVERINO

(1653-1721)
San Pacific (Pacificus) of San Severino was born of a distinguished family in the Italian city of San Severino. He was very young when he became an orphan, and was taken to the home of his uncle, who brought him up very strictly.
Two servants in his uncle’s home could not bear the sight of the boy and if anything went wrong in the house, even if they were to blame for it, they accused the boy. The uncle would then punish him severely for it. Pacific accepted the punishment and bore it with remarkable patience and virtue.
One day a servant knocked the spigot of a wine barrel loose and all the wine ran out into the cellar. She blamed Pacific for it. His uncle took the boy down into the cellar with him to show him what he had done and to give him the punishment he deserved.
The boy went along calmly. When they reached the cellar, they found the floor quite dry and the barrel full of wine. The maid was called, and when she saw the miracle, she admitted her fault and praised the holiness of the innocent boy.
When he was 17 years old, Pacific entered the Order of Friars Minor. After the year of probation, he made his vows. He was ordained to the priesthood when he was 25. He was first assigned to the surrounding villages of the Apennines, where he preached the Gospel to the poor and the uneducated. He even looked up the poor shepherds in their out-of-the-way huts in order to instruct and guide them on the road that leads to God.
After a few years, he became ill and never completely recovered his health, so that he was obliged to serve God patiently with an infirm body for more than 30 years. Having born difficulties even as a child he took his affliction in stride: “God wills it,” he said in a cheerful way, “and so may His will be done.”
It was said that the sick were miraculously cured by him, and he foretold many future events. When death was upon him and he had received Holy Communion for the last time, he once more expressed his gratitude to God for all His benefits, and then, with his hands crossed upon his breast, surrendered his soul to his Creator. The day was Sept. 24, 1721.
He was buried in a common grave used by his deceased brothers in the community, but his body was found incorrupt after four years, even though he was given no coffin. When the body was moved, the head of the saint was accidently struck so hard against a stairway that the head of the corpse detached from the body. Blood flowed freely from the neck, splattering blood as if the body were alive. The blood was sopped up with a shirt and kept as a relic.
Pope Gregory XVI canonized St. Pacific in 1839.
Adapted by A.J. Valentini