The saint for February 26
Saint Paula of St. Joseph of Calasanz
 
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Born October 11,1799 near Barcelona, Spain
Died February 26,1889 at Olesa de Montserrat of natural causes
Beatified April 18,1993
Canonized November 25, 2001

Grew up in a large and pious family in a Spanish fishing village. When Paula's father died she was only 10 years old. She helped her mother to raise the family,working as a lace-maker and seamstress, and expended herself to help the other children of the parish as well. Paula persued the vocation of a single lay woman, privately devoted to God, for many years of her adult life. At the age of thirty, with the help of a friend, she opened a school for girls in Gerona, Spain. Her ideal was to provide not only a good education but a strong moral foundation as well. The school prospered, and she found herself able to found a women's college in 1842 and another school in 1846. She then entered religious life by founding the Daughters of Mary (Pious School Sisters) and taking at that time the name Paula of Saint Joseph of Calasanz. The religious congregation was to lead and staff the schools of her founding.

St Paula had a vision of hope and love for the children she served, and led her daughters forward under the motto "Piety and Letters" the slogan of St Joseph of Calasanz. Her vision of hope and possibility for women and all children is as vibrant and important today as it was when she first founded her congregation. Today there are more than 800 Sisters of the Pious Schools, teaching on four continents. The 112 communities of the order educate over 30,000 students, in 19 nations.

Patroness of: Children, Young Women, Educators
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