15th-Century Franciscan to Be Canonized
Polish Father Simon of Lipnica
ROME, JUNE 1, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Father Simon of Lipnica, a 15th-century Polish Franciscan who gave his life for those suffering from the plague, will soon be proclaimed a saint.
Benedict XVI will canonize the Franciscan on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square.
Simon was born in Lipnica Murowana, in the south of Poland, between the years 1435-1440. He moved to Krakow in 1545, to attend the Jagiellonian University.
Inspired by the preaching of the Franciscan St. John of Capistrano, Simon asked to be received into the convent of the Friars Minor at the convent of St. Bernardine, in Krakow, in 1457. He was ordained a priest around the year 1460.
Like St. Bernardino of Siena and St. John of Capistrano, Father Simon spread devotion to the name of Jesus, obtaining the conversion of innumerable sinners. He was also given the honor of the first of the Friars Minor to be the preacher at the Cathedral of Wawel, the home of Poland’s monarchy, in Krakow, in 1463.
A plague epidemic broke out in Krakow from July 1482 to 1483. Father Simon offered his own life for those afflicted with the disease. He comforted and aided the sick and administered the sacraments, until he too was infected.
Father Simon, while suffering the pain of the disease, expressed his desire to be buried under the threshold of the church so that all could trample on him. On the sixth day of suffering the disease, Father Simon died on July 18, 1482.
Father Simon was beatified by Pope Innocent XI on Feb. 24, 1685, and the cause for his canonization was taken up by Pope Pius XII on June 25, 1948.