Saturday, September 11, 2010

St. Paulinus of Nola

There are many efforts to feed the poor in Rhode Island and I got to take part in one today called Singing Out Against Hunger. I didn't think about it at the time, but as I write this, it seems almost ironic that it took place at a restaurant, Evelyn's Drive In in Tiverton, where people stuffed themselves with clamcakes and fish and chips.
The scenery was calm and serene, as it was set on the water, which was hardly a place of discomfort. But, then, I guess musicians and diners shouldn't have to feel hunger pangs in order to participate.
The organization was founded in 2003 "to provide nutritious food for our neighbors in need and raise awareness of their ongoing plight." Its work should be applauded.
Yet, times never seem to change. Where there are people, there will be hunger.
St. Paulinus of Nola gave all his riches to the poor. He was born to a wealthy Roman family in Bordeaux, France. He became a lawyer and married a woman of Spanish nobility. They lived a privileged life until the death of their one-week old son in 390.
It changed St. Paulinus of Nola forever. He was baptized a Christian and gave away his home, property, and fortune to the poor and the Church.
In 393, he was ordained a priest then moved to Naples, Italy to be near the tomb of St. Felix of Nola, whom he greatly admired. St. Paulinus of Nola continued to give his money to the poor.
Among his many contributions, he built a basilica, a hospital, and an aqueduct. He was named the bishop of Nola in 409. St. Paulinus of Nola was friends with saints Augustine, Jerome, Martin of Tours, and Ambrose. He died in Caltanisetta, Italy on June 22, 431.

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