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|Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholicism|
|Beatified||1894 by Pope Leo XIII|
Blessed Didacus Joseph (Diego Jose) of Cadiz was born in March 29, 1743. His lineage dated from the Visigoth kings.
As a youth, Didacus could make no progress at school, receiving the nickname of the "dunce of Cadiz". A seminarian classmate, a Dominican friar, Antonio Querero, testified how difficult study had been for him. Didacus Joseph entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in Seville, was ordained to the priesthood, and had prepared himself by a holy life. His first appointment was to the task of preaching. His biographers stated that the congregations marveled at the singular power and unction of his words, which swayed his audiences and left an impression on their lives.
During his preaching one day, a child, shouted aloud in the church: "Mother, mother, see the dove resting on the shoulder of Father Didacus! I could preach like that too if a dove told me all that I should say!" This unlearned man was a celebrated preacher in Spain. Fr. Didacus prayed devotedly before his sermons, even scourging himself unto blood, in order to draw down God's mercy upon the people.
Once when his superior chided him because of the austerity of his life, Didacus Joseph replied: "Ah, Father, my sins and the sins of the people compel me to do it. Those who have been charged with the conversion of sinners must remember that the Lord has imposed upon them the sins of all their clients. By means of our penances we should atone for the sins of our fellowmen and thus preserve ourselves and them from eternal death. It would hardly be too much if we shed the last drop of our blood for their conversion."
Didacus Joseph was appointed extraordinary consultor of the Church, the synodal examiner in almost all the Spanish dioceses; an honorary canon; and honorary doctor of several universities. He died in 1801, in the 58th year of his highly blessed life, and was beatified by Pope Leo XIII.