Francisco Palau

Beatified Spanish Discalced Carmelite friar and priest (1811-1872)

Blessed Francisco Palau y Quer (29 December 181120 March 1872) was a Catalan Discalced Carmelite friar and priest. He founded the School of Virtue – which was a model of catechetical teaching for adults – in Barcelona. He was beatified by the Catholic Church in 1988.

Francisco Palau


Letter to Juana Gratia (1857)Edit

Letter to Juana Gratia, written the Day of Our Lady of Carmel (16 July 1857)
  • God's great work in man takes place in the Interior. The order that appears and is shown outside is the work and effect of the order inside.
  • The three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity , aided by the highest and most sublime gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as understanding, wisdom, knowledge, and counsel, unite the creature, the human spirit, with his God, the souls with the Word of God. It is this sacred union that you must seek, hold and possess; in it lie the spiritual life, health and strength, and from it originate all the other virtues.
  • The soul looks to God under two aspects or forms: First as the object of all its affections, or as an infinitely good and lovable being, and this imagine robs the heart; and insofar as he is good, infinitely beautiful, this is, infinitely perfect, he captures our intellectual vision, our thoughts and meditations.
    In this regard, the theological virtues and their gifts cause God and the soul to become on single thing through love and purity of thoughts. While this divine union takes place primarily and mainly in the soul, all the other virtues are like aids, attendants and armies of that guard, assist and protect this work. This is the love of God for the soul and the love of the soul for God.
  • When you examine your conscience (attention to what I am going to tell you) do not go too far; look at it as we look at the seashore from the top of the Alps or the Pyrenees, lightly, without going into details. If you do not see anything clearly and certainly wrong, go ahead and be at peace with your God. Mind this, I repeat, and do tell me how you are faring, because the devil could trick you and do you serious hard with his false doctrine and suggestions. This union produces peace of mind; then search for peace. Let nothing disturb you, be it good or bad.
  • When you feel restless, sad, sorrowful and embittered, look for the cause, and if it is not worth being sorry about (and nothing that does not offend God is worth being sorry about), get rid of your anxiety; if you do not see the causes but feel restless and dissatisfied all the same, put up with it, arm yourself with patience, let the storm pass, and your inner peace will return.
    This union, my sister, demands a heart at peace, calm, unalterable, like some place in heaven, and we can and must acquire it fighting hard whatever threatens if from outside ourselves.
  • Now for the other union. The first one sees God as infinitely lovable and beautiful; its aim is the contemplation of his attributes and perfections. The second union sees him as the creator, conserver, governor, redeemer, glorifier and vivifier of the whole world.
    At certain moments, the spirit of the Lord will move and lead you towards this second union and you have to cooperate. He will be presented to you as the Lord, king and governor of the world, the Lord God of hosts, and wil take you to objects resembling this presence. Since the first union is not strengthened or prefected or completed except in the second, you need to start by this.

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