Saint Francisco Coll! A New Saint of the Dominican Order for the Church!
On Sunday, October 11th, the Holy Father will canonize Zygmunt Szcz?sny Feli?ski , Rafael Arnáiz Barón (a Trappist), Marie de la Croix (Jeanne) Jugan (Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor) and St. Damien of Molokai. As we rejoice with the Church for these new saints (and a new one for America!) we Dominicans have a double cause for rejoicing because St. Francisco Coll Guitart will also be canonized with them!
ABOUT ST. FRANCIS COLL
- Man of unshakable faith. Francis Coll was anchored in truth and in God because his life was based on the Gospel. Amidst the social and political turbulence of his time, he had only one goal: to preach the Gospel and to lessen ignorance.
- Man of joyful hope. Great hope and trust in God were his beloved virtues.Thus he faced challenges and suffering with serenity. His joy was never shaken by animosity.
- Man of love. Love was his highest value and he did everything out of love.This love was expressed in his consoling attitude towards the afflicted. He was peaceful and reconciling towards everyone.
- A great Dominican preacher. Francis Coll preached theGospel when the time was ripe and when it wasn’t. At times he was a catechist and preacher, and at times a missionary and team member He unceasingly sowed the Gospel in the furrows of the world. Be it in winter or summer, in good or in bad health, no one and nothing prevented him from preaching.
- Prayerful man. Fr. Coll usually spent part of the night inprayer where he received inspiration for preaching and energy to face the challenges and threats of his time.
- Devoted to Our Lady. “Love Mary because she loves those who love her; and those who seek her will find her.” (F. Coll) His devotion to Our Lady was expressed in praying the Rosary, which he instilled in all. He was the founder of the Living Rosary at Moià (Spain). ‘The Rosary is my book per excellence and all I have.” (F. Coll)
• Creative and daring man. ThoughF. Coll was living in an anti-clerical and violent society he took the risk to become a Dominican friar. He looked for new means to cater for the needs of the society he was living in. He dared to found a feminine congregation in a society where women were marginalized and without voice.
• Poor but over-generous. F. Collwas free from everything and so fully available to preach the Gospel to everyone and everywhere. He spent his life in simplicity and poverty. He was tough with himself and over-generous with others.
• A joyful and open friar. F. Collwas a joyful Dominican who valued openness.
• Fr. Coll cherished heaven and eternal life. He was an apostle of Christian hope; he had a strong desire of divine life and in finite love. He could foretaste heavenly realities. Thus he constantly repeated:“Heaven, heaven, only heaven.”
• A Dominican Saint. Fr. Coll implemented the will of God and modelled his life in the image of Jesus. Fr. Coll is a saint today because he gave answers to people of his time, sowed hope in their hearts. He made furrows of love and service to others to befollowed by everyone. He, indeed, shared with others what he received from God.
• 19-5-1812. Baptism in Gombren
• 1-4-1816: Death of his father
• 17-8-1818: Confirmation at Ripoll
• 1822- 1830: Studied Latin and Philosophy in VIC
• 1830- Started noviciate with the Dominicans friarsat Gerona
• 1831: Made the first vows• 1831- 1835: Studied Theology in Gerona• 1833: Received Lectorate and Acolytate• 1835: Ordained deacon in Barcelona
• 7-8- 1835; Exclaustrated under Spanish civil law• 1836-: Completes theological studies in Vic
• 28- 5- 1836: Ordained priest at Solsona
• 1839: Appointed curate at Artès
• 1839- 1849: Curate at Moià• 1848: Appointed “Apostolic Missionary”
• 1850: Director of the Dominican secular ThirdOrder in Catalonia
• 1852: Published the “Hermosa Rosa” (BeautifulRose)
• 1854: Took care of those suffering from cholera inMoià.
• 15-08-1856: Founds the Dominican Sisters of the Anunciata.
• 2-4- 1875: Died in VIC
• 29-4- 1979. Beatified by John-Paul II.
Special thanks to the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciata for this information.