Francis Coll
18.05.1812 - 02.04.1875

A brief biography.

Francis Coll was born in Grombeny, Catalan Pyrenees, Spain, as one of ten children on 18 May 1812.  His father Peter died when Francis was only four. Confirmed in 1818 at age six. Entered the seminary at Vichy, France in 1822 at age ten. Student with Saint Anthony Mary Claret (23.12.1807-24.10.1870). Even as a kid he taught grammar and catechism to local children. Joined the Dominicans at Vichy in 1830 at age eighteen. When monastic orders were suppressed by the government, Francis continued to study covertly. Ordained on 28 March 1836 at Vichy.

Parish priest of Arles, France. Reassigned to Moya, Catalan Spain, in 1839, an area devastated by war, awash with starving refugees. He established charitable organizations to feed and house them, and he worked with the poor and displaced for ten years. Helped Saint Anthony Claret found the Apostolic Fraternity in 1846. Director of the tertiaries in Vich. In 1850 he re-opened the suppressed Dominican monastery, and began a program of preaching throughout the Catalan region.
Worked with cholera victims during the epidemic that struck in 1854.


He founded the congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciata in 1856 in Vich, a teaching
branch of tertiaries; by his death the order had grown to fifty houses, and today there are over 140
in Europe and America. Struck blind during a homily given at Sallent on 2 December 1869; his health was never the same, but he refused to retire. When the Dominicans were allowed to officially return to the region in 1872, they found that Francis has somehow maintained the primary structures, physical and administrative, and instead of starting all over, they reclaimed what was theirs, and took up their work where they had left off.
He died on 2 April 1875 of natural causes. His relics enshrined in the La Annunciata motherhouse, Vich.
He was beatified together with Jacques Desiré Laval (08.12.1803-09.09.1864) by Pope John Paul II as his first beatification on 29 April 1979 in Vatican City.

Source: Internet Patron Saints and others.


KimCover of the First beatification by
Pope John Paul II on 29 April 1979 in Vatican City.

Vatican City 11979. KimCover PW 57.





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