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St. Didacus

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[Spanish = San Diego .]

Lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor, date of birth uncertain; died at Alcalá, Spain, 12 Nov., 1463.

He was born of poor parents who placed him under the direction of a hermit living in the neighborhood of San Nicolas del Puerto, his native town. Feeling himself called to the religious life , he applied for admission to the Franciscan Order at the convent of Arizafa and was received as a lay brother. In 1445 he was chosen guardian of the Franciscan community on the Canary Island of Fortaventura; and though it was an exception to the ordinary rules for a lay brother to be made superior, his great zeal, prudence, and sanctity fully justified his choice by the religious of Castile. He remained superior at Fortaventura until 1449 when he was recalled to Spain, whence he went to Rome to be present at the canonization of St. Bernardine of Siena in 1450. At Rome he fulfilled the humble office of infirmarian in the convent of Ara Coeli; and his biographers record the miraculous cure of many whom he attended, through his pious intercession. He was finally recalled to Spain and was sent by his superiors to Alcalá where he spent the remaining years of his life in penance, solitude, and the delights of contemplation. St. Didacus was canonized by Sixtus V in 1588. His feast is kept in the order on the twelfth of November.

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