BLESSED FRANCISCO PALAU I QUER
- Born in Aitona (Lerida), Spain, December 29, 1811. He entered in Seminary of Lerida in 1828.
- In 1832, he began novitiate in the convent of Discalced Carmelites in Barcelona, calling himself Francisco of Jesus Mary Joseph. In November 1833 he made his solemn profession.
- 25th of July 1835 the convent of Saint Joseph in Barcelona was burned and the religious were driven out, among them was Francisco Palau.
- Ordained priest in Barbastro in 1836, he started his apostolic activity in Cataluña.
- The events in his country pushed him into exile in France (1840-1851), where he alternates apostolic work with periods of intense solitary life.
- He wrote some of his writings and directed a group of young ladies in Our Lady of Livron, Diocese of Montauban.
- In 1851 he returned to Spain and continued his apostolic ministry.
- In Barcelona he founded “The School of Virtue,” model of catechetical teaching.
- When the School accused of being involved in organized workers strikes in Barcelona, was closed by the civil authorities.
- Its director, Fr. Palau was unjustly confined to Ibiza (1854-1860).
- In the solitude of El Vedra (majestic islet in front of Ibiza) lived the difficult situations of the Church, immersed in its Mystery.
- In Baleares islands he founded the Congregation of Carmelites Brothers and Sisters (1860-1861).
- He preached general missions in islands and continental Spain, extending devotion to Mary where he passed.
- He travelled to Rome in 1866 and again in 1870 to present his concerns about the exorcist to the Pope and to the Fathers on Vatican Council I.
- He died in Tarragona on March 20, 1872.
The personality of Fr. Palau was forged in the struggle, in a long and painful search that lasted almost his entire life. He fought for PEACE among men struggling in fratricidal wars; for TRUTH to vanish ignorance, cause of so many problems, for FREEDOM in Spain that called itself “liberal” and persecuted the Church.
He searched for solutions to the problems of his time and was radically committed to his vocation as Carmelite and a priest. The key to all his spiritual life and his ecclesial mission was the encounter with the living Christ in his Mystical Body, the Church, that is, Jesus and people in communion. With prophetical insight he was in tuned with the Church of the future – the Church of Vatican II – whom he knew and loved through mystical experience.
He searched for most complete solitude to dialogue with his “Beloved.” For her, he also abandoned solitude and threw himself in to action to serve her with different means that his zeal suggests to him: preaching, organized catechesis, exorcism, the pen as a writer and journalist.
The most diverse apostolates found their unity in the ideal that moves them: TO LOVE AND SERVE THE CHURCH in the poor, the sick, children, the young and families.
The missionary and ecclesial spirit of the Carmel of Teresa of Jesus, encountered fertile ground in Francisco Palau and in their time, bear fruits.
The Teresian Carmelite Missionaries incarnate his spirit and make Fr. Palau live among us today. Extended in four Continents, they have recreated Palautian Charism, knowing themselves as missionaries in the Church.
Francisco Palau was beatified by John Paul II on April 24, 1988.