June 21, 2016

June 22nd: Optional Memorial of St. Paulinus of Nola

St. Paulinus of Nola
Saint Paulinus of Nola, born Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus, was a Roman poet, scriptor, and senator who attained the ranks of suffect consul and governor of Campania prior to his calling. His wife consecrated herself to God. Following her example, Paulinus lived an austere hermit's life at Nola in Italy. There he became a priest and then bishop of the city, and gave his people not only an example of virtue but also wise guidance during the ravages and calamities of the Gothic invasion. He died in 431, aged 78.

Pope Benedict XVI remarked on St. Paulinus' artistic gifts, which inspired "songs of faith and love in which the daily history of small and great events is seen as a history of salvation, a history of God with us." During his lifetime, Paulinus was praised by St. Augustine and St. Jerome for the depth of his conversion. Even before his death, he was regarded as a saint.

The Life of  St. Paulinus

In 353 Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus was born of a prominent Bordeaux family. He received his education in the school of the rhetorician Ausonius. At an early age he attained the dignity of senator and then of consul. As governor of Campania, he chose Nola as his seat. Here he was converted to the faith by St. Felix of Nola. He resigned his position and returned to Gaul, where St. Martin of Tours restored his eyesight.

Despite personal remonstrances, Paulinus was ordained a priest in Spain, and from there he returned to do honor at the grave of his sainted spiritual father. In 409 he became bishop of Tours. Paulinus was an author and poet; he corresponded with the great saints and scholars of his time, Ambrose and Augustine. During the Vandal invasion he used every possible means to feed the poor. When a poor widow asked for money to ransom her son, he gave himself into slavery. With God's aid he returned to his flock and died at the age of seventy-eight in 431. His last words were: "I will prepare a lamp for My anointed" (Ps. 131). His particular virtue was love toward the poor.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Collect Prayer

O God who the Bishop Saint Paulinus of Nola outstanding for love of poverty and for pastoral care, graciously grant that, as we celebrate his merits, we may imitate the example of his charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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