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Villareal, Spain

About Villareal, Spain:

In 1274, King James I of Aragon founded the town after he re-took the area from the Moors during the Reconquista.  In the 19th century, orange trees were introduced to the town and landowners profited by the growing and selling of oranges.  After the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) the town’s economy diversified and ceramics became the town’s major industry, and remains so today.  Like many cities in Spain, it is a step back in time with some magnificent buildings.  Among the most significant for Catholics is the Sanctuary of Saint Paschal Baylon.

About Saint Paschal Baylón:

Born in 1540 into a pious, poor family, Paschal worked as a shepherd between the ages of 7 and 24. He was able to pray while tending his flock and was especially attentive to the church bell, which rang at the Elevation during Mass. In 1564, Paschal joined the Friars Minor and devoted himself to a life of penance. He was urged to study for the priesthood, but instead he chose to be a brother. At various times he served as porter, cook, gardener, and official beggar.

Paschal was determined to observe the vow of poverty. He would never waste any food or anything given for the use of the friars. When he was porter and took care of the poor coming to the door, he developed a reputation for great generosity.

Paschal spent his spare moments praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

During his prayers, he would often levitate above the floor, so much was his love and zeal for Christ. Many miracles are attributed to Saint Paschal, including creating fresh-flowing streams by striking the ground, healing, and miraculous charity. Saint Paschal also experienced mystical visions.

In time, as his reputation for holiness grew, many people sought him out for advice and counsel.  Paschal died in 1592, and people immediately flocked to his tomb after his burial.  Many miracles were reported after these visits.

Paschal was canonized in 1690 and was named patron of Eucharistic Congresses and societies in 1897.

About The Basilica of Saint Paschal Baylón in Villareal, Spain:

Tomb of Saint Paschal
Photo courtesy Vicente Lloréns Poy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The building was begun in the 16th century and Saint Paschal Baylón lived, died and was buried here.  In the 17th century the The Royal Chapel was added to house the remains of the saint.

Unfortunately, the old convent church and chapel were destroyed by an arson attack in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.

Work is still in progress on a new church building, but it is open for worship in its current state.  San Pascual Baylón was proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1996, also naming St. Paschal Baylón  “Universal Patron of Eucharistic Worship“.

The new Royal Chapel, with the tomb of Saint Paschal Baylón, is finished and was inaugurated in 1992 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Interesting note:  there is a Saint Pascal Baylon parish church in Highland Heights, Ohio (Cleveland area).

Traveling to the Basiica of Saint Paschal Baylon in Villareal, Spain:

Villareal is located about 40 miles northeast of Valencia, the nearest city with train connections.  There is some bus service from Valencia to Villareal.

Address:   Arrabal de San Pascual, 70, Vila-real, 12540

Tel:  964520388

Click here for the official website of the Region of Valencia page on Villareal

 

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