Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz

Capuchin Priest

This Spanish Capuchin was popularly called "The Apostle of the Holy Trinity" because of his devotion to the mystery of the Divine Persons, three in one God, and the clever way he included the theological dogma of the Blessed Trinity as part of his edifying sermons.

Born on March 29, 1743 in Cadiz, he was brought up devoutly by his parents and his baptismal innocence remained with him throughout his life. It was not surprising that he decided to enter religious life, and since he attended a Capuchin church and was an avid reader of the lives of the Capuchin Saints, his decision to become a Franciscan was no surprise either.

At first he was refused entry because of poor education, gaining entry only after a great deal of persistence. Although difficulties in studies remained with him during his years as a student, in time he was raised to the priesthood and then sent out to preach.

It soon became evident that he had a wonderful gift for preaching the Word of God. He travelled throughout Spain teaching and preaching in remote villages and crowded towns. His style was simple, without flowery language or sophisticated argument. Everyone marvelled at the singular power and sweetness of his words, which swayed his audiences and left marked impressions on their lives.

It was undoubtedly the Holy Spirit who, because of Didacus' humility and virtue, converted this unlearned man into the most celebrated preacher in Spain. No doubt the Holy Spirit listened to his long and ardent prayers for guidance during the time that he spoke. On occasions Fr Didacus was raised supernaturally into the air so that he required assistance to regain the floor of the pulpit.

Didacus also was capable of touching the heart of those who came to him for confession. He also found time to visit prisons and hospitals and engage in other works of charity, whilst a great part of the nights he spent in prayer.

This humble Capuchin who died in 1801, became known as the saviour of the faith in Spain, a second Paul, as the apostle of his century. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed his beatification in 1894.