Saint Didacus of Alcalá: “Blue-Collar” Franciscan

On November 7, Franciscans in the United States remember Saint Didacus (Diego) of Alcalá (c.1400–1463), known for his life of charity and prayer, and as Patron of San Diego, California (in other countries his feast is celebrated on November 13).

A wandering penitent hermit

Little is known about Diego's early years. He was born about 1400 into a poor family in the town of San Nicolás del Puerto in the Andalusia region of Spain. He spent some years as a wandering penitent hermit before joining the Observant Franciscan friars near Córdoba.

Supporting brotherhood through manual labor

As a friar he worked at various manual trades to support the brotherhood. In 1441 he went to the Canary Islands as one of the first missionaries. Although lacking formal education, his good sense and zeal led him to be selected as guardian of the friary in Fuerteventura, where he defended the rights of

Read more