St. Didacus

November 14

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints

St. Didacus was born in Spain, in the middle of the fifteenth century. He was remarkable from childhood for his love of solitude, and when a youth retired and led a hermit life, occupying himself with weaving mats, like the fathers of the desert. Aiming at still higher perfection, he entered the Order of St. Francis. His want of learning and his humility would not allow him to aspire to the priesthood, and he remained a lay-brother till his death, perfect in his close observance of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and mortifying his will and his senses in every way that he could contrive. At one time he was sent by his superiors to the Canary Islands, whither he went joyfully, hoping to win the crown of martyrdom. Such, however, was not God’s will, and after making many conversions by his example and holy words, he was recalled to Spain. There, after a long and painful illness, he finished his days, embracing the cross, which he had so dearly loved through his life. He died with the words of the hymn “Dulce lignum” on his lips.


If God be in your heart, He will be also on your lips; for Christ has said, “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

Character Calendar

Too humble to aspire to the priesthood, St. Didacus or Diego, was a simple lay brother in the Franciscan Order. His special devotion was to the Passion of our Lord. Oil from the lamp that he kept burning before a statue of the Blessed Virgin cured the sick.

Blessed is the man that doth meditate on the law of the Lord: His delight is therein day and night, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. — Matins, First Antiphon

The Imitation of Christ
Truly a lowly rustic that serveth God is better than a proud philosopher who pondereth the courses of the stars, and neglecteth himself.
Like St. Francis of Assisi, this saint was too humble to aspire to the priesthood, so he remained a brother all his life. Monsignor Benson says in one of his books “Very few except the most mortified saints, fail to feel satisfaction at their growing importance.” We all love to see our name in print, to think that the whole world is talking about us, that there never was a person quite as wonderful as we, even if it be in nothing more wonderful than driving nails.
When somebody does better than you in a test do you think and say, “Oh yes, if I had the time and the chances, and got all the breaks like so-and-so,” or do you say “so-and-so has real talent and uses it too. If I studied like that, I would do better too”; which?
Envy hath slain its tens of thousands.