He was a seminarian in Lérida, a novice and professed religious in the Teresian
Carmel of Barcelona and ordained priest at Barbastro (Huesca, Spain).
The remainder of his life was lived outside the
cloister, a common occurrence in those times of revolution and atrocities which
saw religious Orders suppressed and community life forbidden.
At 28 years he was appointed an Apostolic Missionary by
various bishops. As a Discalced Carmelite he loved solitude and was committed to
a life of intense prayer and preaching.
He was familiar with exile in France, banishment to
Ibiza (Baleares), criticism, suffering, hunger and persecution, danger of death
and calumny... All this he lived as an offering of love to his Beloved, the
Church. In the first part of his life this was his positive reply for "the cause
of the Church", later on it became the fruit of his mystical experience as a
consecration to the Church, contemplated as a "person". "God and neighbour" as a
unity. In this ecclesial experience, Mary is considered and described as "the
most perfect and consummate figure of the Church, virgin and mother", the mirror
where we can discover the Church as a "Queen who sends us to proclaim the beauty
of the Church".
His deep and personal devotion to Mary and his
experience of the Eucharist as a mystery of communion building up and
consolidating the Church, constitute the foundation of the missionary
spirituality of Francis Palau and of his charism as founder.
He felt called by St Teresa of Jesus to found a
Missionary Carmel in the Teresian family: The Third Order of the Brothers and
Sisters of Our Lady of Mt Carmel and St Teresa of Jesus, (the Brothers begun
in 1860 have now vanished, and the Sisters begun in 1861 have now become the
Teresian Carmelite Missionaries and the Carmelite Missionaries).
Spiritual director, writer, publicist, missionary
aggregated to the Congregation of Propaganda Fide (today the Congregation for
the Evangelization of Peoples), a director of a catechetical school for adults,
founder, creator and director of a weekly newspaper, exorcist – he was a many-sided
person who could be summed up in one of his phrases, the slogan for his
beatification (Rome, 24th
"I live and will live for the Church; I live and I shall die for her"