Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 14 | Ambassadors of Hope

Saint Francis Solano

A.D. 1549–1610

There is a battle raging in each and every human heart. This battle is between hope and despair, and we can tip the balance by embracing the call to become ambassadors of hope. 

Saint Francis Solano decided to tip the balance in the direction of hope. Not just for himself, or for one other person, but for entire communities. 

Solano was born in Montilla, Spain, in 1549. All who knew him as a child were amazed by his compassion for others. He grew up wanting to devote his life to Jesus by serving the poor and the sick. So, when he was of age, he joined the Franciscan Order and was eventually ordained a priest. 

Solano quickly became known for his fervent preaching and dedication to the care of the needy. But he yearned to do more, to bring Jesus to people who had never even heard the Gospel. And his wish was granted in 1589, when the Church assigned him a mission in South America, where he spent the rest of his life ministering to the indigenous people.

Solano’s approach to missionary work was revolutionary and rooted in helping others find hope. He adopted the local languages and customs, and treated the native people with compassion. It was a stark contrast to the often harsh and dehumanizing methods of the other missionaries these people had encountered. 

Solano’s ministry led to thousands being baptized and converted to Catholicism. He was known for his miracles, with legends telling of him taming wild animals, which endeared him to the local populations. Epidemics were common among the indigenous peoples, and Solano always went straight to the place where it was worst in order to care for the sick.

Saint Francis Solano did many amazing things. But perhaps the greatest miracle he achieved was bringing hope to people in despair. And that is a feat we can all accomplish, in ways big and small.

Who do you know that’s in despair right now? What can you do to bring them some hope?

Our actions can tip the balance between hope and despair. That is a power that should be used often and respected always.


I will tip the balance from despair to hope.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Against Earthquakes

Feast Day: June 13

Feast Day Shared By: The Prophet Elisha

Canonized: December 27, 1726

Canonized By: Pope Benedict XIII

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