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St. Francis of Assisi

October 4

Franciscan Media

 

Scenes from the Life of St Francis (Scene 7)Image: Scenes from the Life of Saint Francis (Scene 7) | Benozzo Gozzoli

Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint of the Day for October 4

(September 26, 1182 – October 3, 1226)

 

 

Saint Francis of Assisi’s Story

Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance.

Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi’s youth. Prayer—lengthy and difficult—led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road. It symbolized his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: “Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy.”

From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, “Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down.” Francis became the totally poor and humble workman.

He must have suspected a deeper meaning to “build up my house.” But he would have been content to be for the rest of his life the poor “nothing” man actually putting brick on brick in abandoned chapels. He gave up all his possessions, piling even his clothes before his earthly father—who was demanding restitution for Francis’ “gifts” to the poor—so that he would be totally free to say, “Our Father in heaven.” He was, for a time, considered to be a religious fanatic, begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, evoking sadness or disgust to the hearts of his former friends, ridicule from the unthinking.

But genuineness will tell. A few people began to realize that this man was actually trying to be Christian. He really believed what Jesus said: “Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no traveling bag, no sandals, no staff” (Luke 9:1-3).

Francis’ first rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospels. He had no intention of founding an order, but once it began he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it. His devotion and loyalty to the Church were absolute and highly exemplary at a time when various movements of reform tended to break the Church’s unity.

Francis was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News. He decided in favor of the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could. He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa, but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases. He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.

During the last years of his relatively short life, he died at 44, Francis was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death he received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.

On his deathbed, Francis said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, “Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death.” He sang Psalm 141, and at the end asked his superior’s permission to have his clothes removed when the last hour came in order that he could expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord.


Reflection

Francis of Assisi was poor only that he might be Christ-like. He recognized creation as another manifestation of the beauty of God. In 1979, he was named patron of ecology. He did great penance—apologizing to “Brother Body” later in life—that he might be totally disciplined for the will of God. Francis’ poverty had a sister, Humility, by which he meant total dependence on the good God. But all this was, as it were, preliminary to the heart of his spirituality: living the gospel life, summed up in the charity of Jesus and perfectly expressed in the Eucharist.


Saint Francis of Assisi is the Patron Saint of:

Animals
Archaeologists
Ecology
Italy
Merchants
Messengers
Metal Workers


Click here for more on Saint Francis of Assisi!

Saint Francis of Assisi

Fr. Don Miller, OFM

Scenes from the Life of St Francis (Scene 7)Image: Scenes from the Life of Saint Francis (Scene 7) | Benozzo Gozzoli

Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint of the Day for October 4

(September 26, 1182 – October 3, 1226)

 

Saint Francis of Assisi’s Story

Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance.

Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi’s youth. Prayer—lengthy and difficult—led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road. It symbolized his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: “Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy.”

From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, “Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down.” Francis became the totally poor and humble workman.

He must have suspected a deeper meaning to “build up my house.” But he would have been content to be for the rest of his life the poor “nothing” man actually putting brick on brick in abandoned chapels. He gave up all his possessions, piling even his clothes before his earthly father–who was demanding restitution for Francis’ “gifts” to the poor–so that he would be totally free to say, “Our Father in heaven.” He was, for a time, considered to be a religious fanatic, begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, evoking sadness or disgust to the hearts of his former friends, ridicule from the unthinking.

But genuineness will tell. A few people began to realize that this man was actually trying to be Christian. He really believed what Jesus said: “Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no traveling bag, no sandals, no staff” (Luke 9:1-3).

Francis’ first rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospels. He had no intention of founding an order, but once it began he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it. His devotion and loyalty to the Church were absolute and highly exemplary at a time when various movements of reform tended to break the Church’s unity.

Francis was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News. He decided in favor of the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could. He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa, but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases. He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.

During the last years of his relatively short life, he died at 44, Francis was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death he received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.

On his deathbed, Francis said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, “Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death.” He sang Psalm 141, and at the end asked his superior’s permission to have his clothes removed when the last hour came in order that he could expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord.


Reflection

Francis of Assisi was poor only that he might be Christ-like. He recognized creation as another manifestation of the beauty of God. In 1979, he was named patron of ecology. He did great penance–apologizing to “Brother Body” later in life–that he might be totally disciplined for the will of God. Francis’ poverty had a sister, Humility, by which he meant total dependence on the good God. But all this was, as it were, preliminary to the heart of his spirituality: living the gospel life, summed up in the charity of Jesus and perfectly expressed in the Eucharist.


Saint Francis of Assisi is the Patron Saint of:

Animals
Archaeologists
Ecology
Italy
Merchants
Messengers
Metal Workers


Click here for a reflection on Saint Francis of Assisi!


Lessons from the Life of St. Francis
Catholic Caucus: St. Francis Of Assisi And Great Pardon Known As The Portiuncula Indulgence
St. Francis, Christian Love, and the Biotechnological Future
Finding St. Francis (we don’t hear much about the saint who submitted to Church authority)
St. Francis of Assisi {ecumenical}
Francis of Assisi: Pattern for Lay Holiness
The Real St. Francis of Assisi Was Not a Garden Gnome…
Chesterton and Saint Francis
Saint Francis of Assisi, ‘giant of holiness,’ honored Oct. 4

Franciscan Brothers Follow in St. Francis’ Bare Footsteps
St. Francis of Assisi (and) St. Clare of Assisi [Catholic Caucus]
On Francis of Assisi
Franciscans ready to celebrate 800th anniversary of order’s founding
‘Stone-for-stone’ Porziuncola reproduction erected in San Francisco
Portiuncula Indulgence can be obtained this Sunday
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]
The Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi — The Wounds of Christ
St. Clare’s Advice Defended Assisi Against An Attack By the Mohammedans (My Title)

The Way of the Cross, with Prayerful Meditations authored by Saint Francis of Assisi
Friar Assails “Lies” Against Franciscans of Assisi In Wake of Pope’s Program
color=#e00040>Cimabue’s Assisi Fresco Reconstructed
Friars Minor Support Pope’s Measures for Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi and Eucharistic Adoration
Saint Francis of Assisi’s Letter to the Clergy
World Needs the Spirit of St. Francis, Says John Paul II
Saint Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Friars Minor, Confessor 1181-1226>
Assisi frescoes rise from the rubble
Christ’s words to St. Francis, “repair my Church,” appropriate for today says Archbishop Chaput


Prayer of Saint Francis of Assissi

Lord, make me am instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
and where there is saddness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182. He lived and preached a life of poverty and love of God to all men. He founded the religious Order of the Franciscans; with St. Clare, he founded the Order of the Poor Clares; and the Third Order for lay people. He died in 1226.


Information: St. Francis of Assisi

Feast Day: October 4

Born: 1181 or 1182 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy

Died: 3 October 1226 at Assisi, Italy

Canonized: 16 July 1228 by Pope Gregory IX

Major Shrine: Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, Assisi, Italy

Patron of: against dying alone, against fire, animal welfare societies, animals, Assisi, Italy, birds, Catholic Action, ecologists, ecology, environment, families, Franciscan Order, lacemakers, merchants, needle workers, peace, tapestry workers, zoos


CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Thursday, October 4

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St. Francis of
Assisi. He was born in 1182, into a wealthy
family, leading a carefree life through his
youth. Following a conversion, he
renounced his wealth preferring poverty as
he preached the Gospel.


Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: October 4th

St. Francis of Assisi, confessor

MASS READINGS

October 04, 2018 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps, we may follow your Son, and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Recipes (16)

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Activities (5)

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Prayers (6)

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Library (17)

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

Old Calendar: St. Francis of Assisi, confessor ; Other Titles: Il Poverello

St. Francis (1182-1226) was born and died in Assisi. He was the son of a rich merchant, Bernardone, received a good education, and in the beginning followed the ways of the world. He was taken prisoner in the battle between the Assisians and Perugians, and after his release decided to abandon everything for Christ. His father became extremely displeased at his action, and disinherited him. In 1220 he founded a new order which in ten years numbered five thousand brothers. His followers were called Friars Minor because they were to consider themselves as the least among religious. Out of humility Francis never accepted the priesthood but remained a deacon all his life. He had a great love for God’s creatures and called them his brothers and sisters. His ardent love of God merited for him the name of Seraphic. This feast is celebrated today both in the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


St. Francis of Assisi
Francis Bernardone was born in 1181 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy. The son of a wealthy cloth merchant, he lived a lavish and irresponsible life. At the age of twenty, he went to war against Perugia, but was captured and imprisoned. During his imprisonment he experienced a vision from Christ and changed his life completely. He left all his possessions and embraced complete poverty, taking the Gospel as his rule of life.

He wore ragged old clothes, begged for food and preached peace. He began to attract followers, and in 1209 with the papal blessing he founded the Friars Minor (Franciscans). Then in 1212 with St. Clare of Assisi he founded the foundation of the Order of “Poor Ladies,” now known as the “Poor Clares.” He also founded the “Third Order of Penance” (the Third Order) which included lay people. He was the first person (recorded) to receive the stigmata (the five wounds of Christ) in 1224. He died on October 4, 1226 at Portiuncula, Italy. He was canonized by Gregory IX less than two years later.

Patron: against fire; animals; Catholic Action; dying alone; ecology; environment; families; fire; lacemakers; merchants; peace; zoos; Italy; Assisi, Italy; Colorado; Sante Fe, New Mexico; archdiocese of San Francisco, California; archdiocese of Denver, Colorado; archdiocese of Sante Fe, New Mexico; diocese of Salina, Kansas.

Symbols: birds and animals; bag of gold and rich raiment at his feet; winged crucifix with five rays; stigmata; crown of thorns; lighted lamp; fiery chariot; birds; deer; fish; skull; wolf; fire.

Things to Do:

  • Pray the Canticle of the Sun, which was written by St. Francis.
  • For more reading, see the selections from the Catholic Culture Library. This page from the Franciscan Archives contains links about St. Francis of Assisi, including biographies, articles, writings, Orders & Societies, liturgical texts and art.
  • Many parishes have a Blessing of animals or pets on this day. See the Prayers column for other alternatives. St. Francis loved all of God’s creatures. Find the stories of the Wolf of Gubbio, the Sermon to the Birds, his Canticle of Creatures to see some illustrations of his honoring God’s creation.
  • St. Francis was influential on our present-day Christmas crib or creche. Find out more about this historical event. See the articles in our Activities top bar.
  • Although St. Francis is one of the most popular saints of the Church, and his feast is a huge celebration in Assisi, there are no particular foods attached to that festival. Tradition has passed on that on his deathbed he requested Frangipane cream or Moastaccioli (almond biscotti). Fire is a symbol of St. Francis, first of all because his heart was on fire with love of God, but there are other stories in Little Flowers of St. Francis that deal with fire, particularly when he prayed, the surrounding areas would become so bright that people thought the areas were on fire. So a flaming dessert or wine would be an appropriate ending of a wonderful feast. One could also try some Umbrian style recipes, or just have “Italian night” at home, even just simple spaghetti or other pasta and sauces.
  • Learn more about the Franciscan order. The Catholic Encyclopedia has a wonderful entry on St. Francis, including his Rule. And from the Catholic Culture Library you can read a detailed summary of the life of St. Francis and his founding of the Order of Friars Minor.
  • What does poverty in our state of life mean? How can I follow the Gospels like Francis?
  • Learn more about geography and history of the Umbria area, and how much Francis has impacted that area.
  • Study art and photos of Francis. Find out more about the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. Although the earthquake in 1997 damaged the basilica, it reopened in 1999.
  • Go here for Saint Francis of Assisi, The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, translated by Fr. Paschal Robinson in 1906.
  • Read Little Flowers of St. Francis by Brother Ugolino online or purchase a copy. This is a collection of many stories and legends of the life of St. Francis. Of particular note is his Sermon to the Birds,

    “My little sisters the birds, ye owe much to God, your Creator, and ye ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty to fly about into all places; and though ye neither spin nor sew, he has given you a twofold and a threefold clothing for yourselves and for your offspring. Two of all your species he sent into the Ark with Noah that you might not be lost to the world; besides which, he feeds you, though ye neither sow nor reap. He has given you fountains and rivers to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys in which to take refuge, and trees in which to build your nests; so that your Creator loves you much, having thus favoured you with such bounties. Beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praise to God.”


The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 10:1-12

Saint Francis of Assisi (Memorial)

Into whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this household.” (Luke 10:5)

This verse seems particularly relevant today, on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226). Like the disciples in the Gospel reading, Francis and his followers wandered the countryside carrying the good news of Jesus. And like the disciples, they often did it by bringing peace and reconciliation into places of conflict.

One story in particular reveals Francis’ gift for peacemaking. In the last year of his life, the mayor of Assisi and the town’s bishop had fallen into a feud. To intervene, Francis composed a new verse of his poem “Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon”: “All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon for love of you. . . . Happy those who endure in peace; by you Most High, they will be crowned.”

Francis sent two friars to sing this verse before the mayor and the bishop. Touched to the heart, the mayor said, “I forgive the lord bishop, whom I ought to recognize as my master.” And the bishop replied, “My office demands humility of me, but by nature I am quick to anger; you must forgive me!”

Francis understood that Jesus came to reconcile us, not only with God, but with each other as well. On a personal level, unforgiveness can destroy families and friendships—even our health and peace of mind. On a broader level, it can lead to war, conflict, and destruction. But Jesus came to preach peace by putting to death all enmity through his cross, and he wants us to try to “preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

Is there someone you need to forgive? Try to let go of your resentment. Even if it means just taking one more step, go ahead and take that step. It couldn’t have been easy for Assisi’s bishop and mayor to forgive each other, but they found the grace to try. It’s not easy for us either, but the same grace is available to us. If you just can’t forgive right now, ask God for the grace to want to forgive. Even if you feel no love for the other person, consider how much God loves them. Even if it takes a long time, he can bring you to peace.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!”

Job 19:21-27
Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14


Daily Gospel Commentary

Saint Pius X
Pope from 1903 to 1914

Encyclical “ E supremi apostolatus ”

Sent by Christ into the whole world

“No one,” the Apostle admonishes us, “can lay other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor 3:11). It is Christ alone “whom the Father sanctified and sent into this world” (Jn 10:36), “the splendor of the Father and the image of His substance” (Heb 1:3), true God and true man: without whom nobody can know God with the knowledge for salvation, “neither doth anyone know the Father but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him” (Mt 11:27). Hence it follows that to restore all things in Christ and to lead men back to submission to God is one and the same aim. To this, then, it behoves Us to devote Our care – to lead back mankind under the dominion of Christ; this done, We shall have brought it back to God. When We say “to God” We do not mean to that inert being heedless of all things human which the dream of certain philosophers has imagined, but to the true and living God, one in nature, triple in person, Creator of the world, most wise Ordainer of all things, Lawgiver most just, who punishes the wicked and has reward in store for virtue.

Now the way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church. Rightly does Chrysostom inculcate: “The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge.” It was for this that Christ founded it, gaining it at the price of His blood, and made it the depositary of His doctrine and His laws, bestowing upon it at the same time an inexhaustible treasury of graces for the sanctification and salvation of men. You see, then, Venerable Brethren, the duty that has been imposed upon Us…:? To form Christ in those who are destined from the duty of their vocation to form Him in others… It is the same mission… as that which Paul proclaimed in these tender words: “My little children, of whom I am in labor again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal 4:19). But how will they be able to perform this duty if they be not first clothed with Christ themselves? and so clothed with Christ as to be able to say with the Apostle: “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21).


Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for October 4, 2018:

What’s your decision-making style? Slow or fast? Do you weigh the pros and cons? Go with your gut feeling? How does your style mesh with that of your spouse? Being similar can make life easier, but being different can often help see different angles of the situation.


Regnum Christi

October 4, 2018 – Bumper Crop

Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi

Father Edward McIlmail, LC

 

 

Luke 10: 1-12

 

Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so, ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: The Kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”

Introductory Prayer: Good Jesus, thank you for this opportunity to speak with you again and to listen to you. I know that you have longed for this moment we will spend together. You silently wait for hours in the tabernacle, hoping that one of your friends will come to make a visit. You always have something to say when we finally turn to you, so I willingly set aside all distractions and give you my undivided attention.

Petition: Grant me, Lord, the grace to accept your instructions with a great spirit of simplicity.

  1. The Harvest: The Holy Spirit works constantly to stir up souls and prompt them to turn their lives toward God. He nudges them when they listen to Scripture or a homily. He speaks to them in the little events of day-to-day life. But there is often one other ingredient he uses to reach souls: He uses us. He uses our example, our words, our drawing close to others. This is why Our Lord speaks of a crop waiting to be harvested. Harvesting is all about toil and timing. Crops not brought in quickly rot in the field. What harvest of souls might Our Lord be asking me to help with? It might be an engaged couple who need to be helped in their faith. It might be a sick relative who needs to prepare spiritually for death. It might be a troubled teen who needs guidance to keep on the right path. All these could be souls who need help now. Will I respond?
  1. Full-time Laborers: Besides the work that all of us are called to do by our baptism, there is also a need for people who dedicate their entire lives to the mission of evangelization. Priests especially are needed, to confect the Eucharist and to grant absolution within the sacrament of reconciliation. The principle outlined in the first point of this meditation applies here as well: The Holy Spirit inspires new vocations, and frequently he depends on others to promote this work. Do I join in this crucial work for the Church? Do I encourage vocations? Do I speak well of priests and religious? Am I willing to let a son or daughter, a brother or sister, pursue a vocation? Do I see that the vocation I encourage today might be the vocation that helps save the soul of a child or grandchildren in the future?
  1. Details Matter: Jesus’ precise instructions to his disciples show that details matter to him. Our Lord doesn’t leave anything to chance. He has a system for how to evangelize, and it is crucial that the disciples follow his orders precisely. This reminds us that work of evangelization and building the Kingdom is Jesus’, and as such he makes the rules. Free-lance evangelization doesn’t substitute for what Christ wants. This principle applies to all walks of life. Hence, there are rules that regulate conduct within marriage and before marriage. There are guidelines as to what lawmakers can and cannot support, and how businesspeople should and should not treat their employees and customers. Might I think that I’m exempt from Christ’s rules? Might I be living my faith on my terms, rather than on Christ’s?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me avoid fooling myself that I’m doing your will, when in fact I might be following my own whims. Let me appreciate that there is a teamwork aspect to the Christian life that helps me grow in patience and humility.

Resolution: I will pray or offer up a sacrifice for vocations, or speak of vocations to at least one person, either by word or by e-mail.


Homily of the Day

In the first reading we see the great faith and trust of Job in God, despite the great trials and disasters he has had.

In the Gospel reading Jesus sends off his disciples to preach the Good News and spread the Kingdom of God. They told people about life with God.

Like the disciples of Jesus, we are sent to go and spread the Good News to those who do not know God, even to those we do not know. We are told that “Evangelization happens when the word of Jesus speaks to people’s hearts and minds. This means that we must let our faith shine on the world around us, radiating the love of Jesus by the everyday way we speak, think and act.” (US Conference of Bishops)

May we, in our own little ways, become bearers of the Good News to others.


One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Espa�ol

All Issues > Volume 34, Issue 6

<< Thursday, October 4, 2018 >> St. Francis of Assisi
 
Job 19:21-27
View Readings
Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14 Luke 10:1-12
Similar Reflections
 

A WONDER: WORKERS!

 
“The harvest is rich but the workers are few; therefore ask the Harvest-Master to send workers to His harvest.” �Luke 10:2
 
Job was one of the Lord’s most faithful workers. The Lord permitted Satan to take away almost all of Job’s riches, kill his ten children, and give Job a life-threatening, painful disease (Jb 1:12ff). Even if the Lord later gave Job twice as much as he had lost (Jb 42:10), no wonder the Lord’s workers are few! (Lk 10:2)

The Lord sends out His workers “as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Lk 10:3). He tells them to take nothing with them and to live from moment to moment trusting Him for everything (Lk 10:4). No wonder the Lord’s workers are few!

The crucified Lord promised us that we, His disciples and co-workers (1 Cor 3:9), would be persecuted as He was persecuted (Jn 15:20; 2 Tm 3:12; Mt 5:11). Under these conditions, no wonder few are willing to work!

Now Jesus asks each of us to work for Him. He will reward us with the eternal happiness of heaven (see 2 Tm 4:8), but He doesn’t put that much emphasis on it. He mostly talks about the cross. This ensures that each of us decides to work for Jesus out of love for Him. A wonder: workers for His harvest!

 
Prayer: Father, may love impel me to work for You (see 2 Cor 5:14).
Promise: “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.” —Ps 27:13-14
Praise: St. Francis’ approach to war was to pray zealously for the conversion of the enemy, ignore the threats on his life, and proclaim the gospel personally to the enemy leader.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Memorial
October 4th

File:Baciccio - Apotheosis of the Franciscan Order - WGA01109.jpg

Apotheosis of the Franciscan Order
1707, Fresco
Basilica Santi XII Apostoli, Rome
by BACICCIO

History | Readings | Recipe | Peace Prayer

History

St. Francis of Assisi was the founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 — the exact year is uncertain; died there, October 3, 1226.

His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a wealthy Assisian cloth merchant. Of his mother, Pica, little is known, but she is said to have belonged to a noble family of Provence. Francis was one of several children. The legend that he was born in a stable dates from the fifteenth century only, and appears to have originated in the desire of certain writers to make his life resemble that of Christ. At baptism the saint received the name of Giovanni, which his father afterwards altered to Francesco, through fondness it would seem for France, where business had led him at the time of his son’s birth. In any case, since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought.

Francis received some elementary instruction from the priests of St. George’s at Assisi, though he learned more perhaps in the school of the Troubadours, who were just then making for refinement in Italy. However this may be, he was not very studious, and his literary education remained incomplete. Although associated with his father in trade, he showed little liking for a merchant’s career, and his parents seemed to have indulged his every whim. Thomas of Celano, his first biographer, speaks in very severe terms of Francis’s youth. Certain it is that the saint’s early life gave no presage of the golden years that were to come. No one loved pleasure more than Francis; he had a ready wit, sang merrily, delighted in fine clothes and showy display. Handsome, gallant, and courteous, he soon became the prime favorite among the young nobles of Assisi, the foremost in every feat of arms, the leader of the civil revels, the very king of frolic. But even at this time Francis showed an instinctive sympathy with the poor, and though he spent money lavishly, it still flowed in such channels as to attest a princely magnanimity of spirit.

When about twenty, Francis went out with the townsmen to fight the Perugians in one of the petty skirmishes so frequent at that time between the rival cities. The Assisians were defeated on this occasion, and Francis, being among those taken prisoners, was held captive for more than a year in Perugia. A low fever which he there contracted appears to have turned his thoughts to the things of eternity; at least the emptiness of the life he had been leading came to him during that long illness. With returning health, however, Francis’s eagerness after glory reawakened and his fancy wandered in search of victories; at length he resolved to embrace a military career, and circumstances seemed to favor his aspirations. A knight of Assisi was about to join “the gentle count”, Walter of Brienne, who was then in arms in the Neapolitan States against the emperor, and Francis arranged to accompany him. His biographers tell us that the night before Francis set forth he had a strange dream, in which he saw a vast hall hung with armor all marked with the Cross. “These”, said a voice, “are for you and your soldiers.” “I know I shall be a great prince”, exclaimed Francis exultingly, as he started for Apulia. But a second illness arrested his course at Spoleto. There, we are told, Francis had another dream in which the same voice bade him turn back to Assisi. He did so at once. This was in 1205.

Although Francis still joined at times in the noisy revels of his former comrades, his changed demeanor plainly showed that his heart was no longer with them; a yearning for the life of the spirit had already possessed it. His companions twitted Francis on his absent-mindedness and asked if he were minded to be married. “Yes”, he replied, “I am about to take a wife of surpassing fairness.” She was no other than Lady Poverty whom Dante and Giotto have wedded to his name, and whom even now he had begun to love. After a short period of uncertainty he began to seek in prayer and solitude the answer to his call; he had already given up his lavish attire and wasteful ways. One day, while crossing the Umbrian plain on horseback, Francis unexpectedly drew near a poor leper. The sudden appearance of this repulsive object filled him with disgust and he instinctively retreated, but presently controlling his natural aversion he dismounted, embraced the unfortunate man, and gave him all the money he had. About the same time Francis made a pilgrimage to Rome. Pained at the miserly offerings he saw at the tomb of St. Peter, he emptied his purse thereon. Then, as if to put his fastidious nature to the test, he exchanged clothes with a tattered mendicant and stood for the rest of the day fasting among the horde of beggars at the door of the basilica.

Not long after his return to Assisi, while Francis was praying before an ancient crucifix in the forsaken wayside chapel of St. Damian’s below the town, he heard a voice saying: “Go, Francis, and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin.” Taking this behest literally, as referring to the ruinous church wherein he knelt, Francis went to his father’s shop, impulsively bundled together a load of colored drapery, and mounting his horse hastened to Foligno, then a mart of some importance, and there sold both horse and stuff to procure the money needful for the restoration of St. Damian’s. When, however, the poor priest who officiated there refused to receive the gold thus gotten, Francis flung it from him disdainfully. The elder Bernardone, a most niggardly man, was incensed beyond measure at his son’s conduct, and Francis, to avert his father’s wrath, hid himself in a cave near St. Damian’s for a whole month. When he emerged from this place of concealment and returned to the town, emaciated with hunger and squalid with dirt, Francis was followed by a hooting rabble, pelted with mud and stones, and otherwise mocked as a madman. Finally, he was dragged home by his father, beaten, bound, and locked in a dark closet.

Freed by his mother during Bernardone’s absence, Francis returned at once to St. Damian’s, where he found a shelter with the officiating priest, but he was soon cited before the city consuls by his father. The latter, not content with having recovered the scattered gold from St. Damian’s, sought also to force his son to forego his inheritance. This Francis was only too eager to do; he declared, however, that since he had entered the service of God he was no longer under civil jurisdiction. Having therefore been taken before the bishop, Francis stripped himself of the very clothes he wore, and gave them to his father, saying: “Hitherto I have called you my father on earth; henceforth I desire to say only ‘Our Father who art in Heaven.'” Then and there, as Dante sings, were solemnized Francis’s nuptials with his beloved spouse, the Lady Poverty, under which name, in the mystical language afterwards so familiar to him, he comprehended the total surrender of all worldly goods, honors, and privileges. And now Francis wandered forth into the hills behind Assisi, improvising hymns of praise as he went. “I am the herald of the great King”, he declared in answer to some robbers, who thereupon despoiled him of all he had and threw him scornfully in a snow drift. Naked and half frozen, Francis crawled to a neighboring monastery and there worked for a time as a scullion. At Gubbio, where he went next, Francis obtained from a friend the cloak, girdle, and staff of a pilgrim as an alms. Returning to Assisi, he traversed the city begging stones for the restoration of St. Damian’s. These he carried to the old chapel, set in place himself, and so at length rebuilt it. In the same way Francis afterwards restored two other deserted chapels, St. Peter’s, some distance from the city, and St. Mary of the Angels, in the plain below it, at a spot called the Porziuncola. Meantime he redoubled his zeal in works of charity, more especially in nursing the lepers.

On a certain morning in 1208, probably February 24, Francis was hearing Mass in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, near which he had then built himself a hut; the Gospel of the day told how the disciples of Christ were to possess neither gold nor silver, nor scrip for their journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff, and that they were to exhort sinners to repentance and announce the Kingdom of God. Francis took these words as if spoken directly to himself, and so soon as Mass was over threw away the poor fragment left him of the world’s goods, his shoes, cloak, pilgrim staff, and empty wallet. At last he had found his vocation. Having obtained a coarse woolen tunic of “beast color”, the dress then worn by the poorest Umbrian peasants, and tied it round him with a knotted rope, Francis went forth at once exhorting the people of the country-side to penance, brotherly love, and peace. The Assisians had already ceased to scoff at Francis; they now paused in wonderment; his example even drew others to him. Bernard of Quintavalle, a magnate of the town, was the first to join Francis, and he was soon followed by Peter of Cattaneo, a well-known canon of the cathedral. In true spirit of religious enthusiasm, Francis repaired to the church of St. Nicholas and sought to learn God’s will in their regard by thrice opening at random the book of the Gospels on the altar. Each time it opened at passages where Christ told His disciples to leave all things and follow Him. “This shall be our rule of life”, exclaimed Francis, and led his companions to the public square, where they forthwith gave away all their belongings to the poor. After this they procured rough habits like that of Francis, and built themselves small huts near his at the Porziuncola. A few days later Giles, afterwards the great ecstatic and sayer of “good words”, became the third follower of Francis. The little band divided and went about, two and two, making such an impression by their words and behavior that before long several other disciples grouped themselves round Francis eager to share his poverty, among them being Sabatinus, vir bonus et justus, Moricus, who had belonged to the Crucigeri, John of Capella, who afterwards fell away, Philip “the Long”, and four others of whom we know only the names. When the number of his companions had increased to eleven, Francis found it expedient to draw up a written rule for them. This first rule,as it is called, of the Friars Minor has not come down to us in its original form, but it appears to have been very short and simple, a mere adaptation of the Gospel precepts already selected by Francis for the guidance of his first companions, and which he desired to practice in all their perfection. When this rule was ready the Penitents of Assisi, as Francis and his followers styled themselves, set out for Rome to seek the approval of the Holy See, although as yet no such approbation was obligatory. There are differing accounts of Francis’s reception by Innocent III. It seems, however, that Guido, Bishop of Assisi, who was then in Rome, commended Francis to Cardinal John of St. Paul, and that at the instance of the latter, the pope recalled the saint whose first overtures he had, as it appears, somewhat rudely rejected. Moreover, in site of the sinister predictions of others in the Sacred College, who regarded the mode of life proposed by Francis as unsafe and impracticable, Innocent, moved it is said by a dream in which he beheld the Poor Man of Assisi upholding the tottering Lateran, gave a verbal sanction to the rule submitted by Francis and granted the saint and his companions leave to preach repentance everywhere. Before leaving Rome they all received the ecclesiastical tonsure, Francis himself being ordained deacon later on.

After their return to Assisi, the Friars Minor — for thus Francis had names his brethren, either after the minores, or lower classes, as some think, or as others believe, with reference to the Gospel (Matthew 25:40-45), and as a perpetual reminder of their humility — found shelter in a deserted hut at Rivo Torto in the plain below the city, but were forced to abandon this poor abode by a rough peasant who drove in his ass upon them. About 1211 they obtained a permanent foothold near Assisi, through the generosity of the Benedictines of Monte Subasio, who gave them the little chapel of St. Mary of the Angels or the Porziuncola. Adjoining this humble sanctuary, already dear to Francis, the first Franciscan convent was formed by the erection of a few small huts or cells of wattle, straw, and mud, and enclosed by a hedge. From this settlement, which became the cradle of the Franciscan Order (Caput et Mater Ordinis) and the central spot in the life of St. Francis, the Friars Minor went forth two by two exhorting the people of the surrounding country. Like children “careless of the day”, they wandered from place to place singing in their joy, and calling themselves the Lord’s minstrels. The wide world was their cloister; sleeping in haylofts, grottos, or church porches, they toiled with the laborers in the fields, and when none gave them work they would beg. In a short while Francis and his companions gained an immense influence, and men of different grades of life and ways of thought flocked to the order. Among the new recruits made about this time, by Francis were the famous Three Companions, who afterwards wrote his life, namely: Angelus Tancredi, a noble cavalier; Leo, the saint’s secretary and confessor; and Rufinus, a cousin of St. Clare; besides Juniper, “the renowned jester of the Lord”.

During the Lent of 1212, a new joy, great as it was unexpected, came to Francis. Clare, a young heiress of Assisi, moved by the saint’s preaching at the church of St. George, sought him out, and begged to be allowed to embrace the new manner of life he had founded. By his advice, Clare, who was then but eighteen, secretly left her father’s house on the night following Palm Sunday, and with two companions went to the Porziuncola, where the friars met her in procession, carrying lighted torches. Then Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in the Minorite habit and thus received her to a life of poverty, penance, and seclusion. Clare stayed provisionally with some Benedictine nuns near Assisi, until Francis could provide a suitable retreat for her, and for St. Agnes, her sister, and the other pious maidens who had joined her. He eventually established them at St. Damian’s, in a dwelling adjoining the chapel he had rebuilt with his own hands, which was now given to the saint by the Benedictines as domicile for his spiritual daughters, and which thus became the first monastery of the Second Franciscan Order of Poor Ladies, now known as Poor Clares.

It was during Christmastide of this year (1223) that the saint conceived the idea of celebrating the Nativity “in a new manner”, by reproducing in a church at Greccio the praesepio of Bethlehem, and he has thus come to be regarded as having inaugurated the population devotion of the Crib. Christmas appears indeed to have been the favourite feast of Francis, and he wished to persuade the emperor to make a special law that men should then provide well for the birds and the beasts, as well as for the poor, so that all might have occasion to rejoice in the Lord.

(Principal source – Catholic Encyclopedia – 1913 edition )


Readings

Collect:
O God, by whose gift Saint Francis
was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility,
grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps,
we may follow your Son,
and, through joyful charity,
come to be united with you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Galatians 6: 14-18
But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


Recipe

Mostaccioli – An Italian almond pastry

1 pound blanched almonds
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Approximately 1 cup of flour

Chop the almonds very fine or coarsely grind in a blender

In a bowl combine the nuts, honey, cinnamon, and egg whites. Mix thoroughly. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a thick paste.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the paste until smooth and stiff. Roll out to about 1/4 inch. Cut into diamond shapes, about 2 1/2 inches long. Place the diamonds on a lightly buttered and floured baking sheet. Let dry for 1 to 2 hours.

Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until set. Do not let brown.

Yield: about 3 dozen

from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press.


Peace Prayer*

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

*Although this popular “peace prayer” is attributed to St. Francis, it was not composed by him. According to the Franciscan Archive, it first appeared in 1912, as an anonymous prayer in a French devotional magazine.  Its first appearance in English was in 1936, in a book written by Kirby Page, a Disciples of Christ minister and pacifist, who attributed the prayer to the 12th century saint. During and after WWII, the prayer, and its attribution to St. Francis, was popularized by Cardinal Francis Spellman’s books.  (See http://www.franciscan-archive.org/franciscana/peace.html)


Auspicato Concessum, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on St. Francis of Assisi, (September 17, 1882) (links to Vatican website)

BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 27 January 2010, Saint Francis of Assisi (links to Vatican website)


Catholic Caucus: St. Francis Of Assisi And Great Pardon Known As The Portiuncula Indulgence
St. Francis, Christian Love, and the Biotechnological Future
Finding St. Francis (we don’t hear much about the saint who submitted to Church authority)
St. Francis of Assisi {ecumenical}
Francis of Assisi: Pattern for Lay Holiness
The Real St. Francis of Assisi Was Not a Garden Gnome…
Chesterton and Saint Francis
Saint Francis of Assisi, ‘giant of holiness,’ honored Oct. 4

Franciscan Brothers Follow in St. Francis’ Bare Footsteps
St. Francis of Assisi (and) St. Clare of Assisi [Catholic Caucus]
On Francis of Assisi
Franciscans ready to celebrate 800th anniversary of order’s founding
‘Stone-for-stone’ Porziuncola reproduction erected in San Francisco
Portiuncula Indulgence can be obtained this Sunday
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]
The Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi — The Wounds of Christ
St. Clare’s Advice Defended Assisi Against An Attack By the Mohammedans (My Title)

The Way of the Cross, with Prayerful Meditations authored by Saint Francis of Assisi
Friar Assails “Lies” Against Franciscans of Assisi In Wake of Pope’s Program
color=#e00040>Cimabue’s Assisi Fresco Reconstructed
Friars Minor Support Pope’s Measures for Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi and Eucharistic Adoration
Saint Francis of Assisi’s Letter to the Clergy
World Needs the Spirit of St. Francis, Says John Paul II
Saint Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Friars Minor, Confessor 1181-1226>
Assisi frescoes rise from the rubble
Christ’s words to St. Francis, “repair my Church,” appropriate for today says Archbishop Chaput

 


Prayer of Saint Francis of Assissi

Lord, make me am instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
and where there is saddness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182. He lived and preached a life of poverty and love of God to all men. He founded the religious Order of the Franciscans; with St. Clare, he founded the Order of the Poor Clares; and the Third Order for lay people. He died in 1226.


Catholic Culture

 

Ordinary Time: October 4th

St. Francis of Assisi, confessor

MASS READINGS

October 04, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps, we may follow your Son, and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Recipes (16)

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Activities (5)

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Prayers (6)

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Library (17)

Old Calendar: St. Francis of Assisi, confessor ; Other Titles: Il Poverello

St. Francis (1182-1226) was born and died in Assisi. He was the son of a rich merchant, Bernardone, received a good education, and in the beginning followed the ways of the world. He was taken prisoner in the battle between the Assisians and Perugians, and after his release decided to abandon everything for Christ. His father became extremely displeased at his action, and disinherited him. In 1220 he founded a new order which in ten years numbered five thousand brothers. His followers were called Friars Minor because they were to consider themselves as the least among religious. Out of humility Francis never accepted the priesthood but remained a deacon all his life. He had a great love for God’s creatures and called them his brothers and sisters. His ardent love of God merited for him the name of Seraphic. This feast is celebrated today both in the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

 


St. Francis of Assisi
Francis Bernardone was born in 1181 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy. The son of a wealthy cloth merchant, he lived a lavish and irresponsible life. At the age of twenty, he went to war against Perugia, but was captured and imprisoned. During his imprisonment he experienced a vision from Christ and changed his life completely. He left all his possessions and embraced complete poverty, taking the Gospel as his rule of life.

He wore ragged old clothes, begged for food and preached peace. He began to attract followers, and in 1209 with the papal blessing he founded the Friars Minor (Franciscans). Then in 1212 with St. Clare of Assisi he founded the foundation of the Order of “Poor Ladies,” now known as the “Poor Clares.” He also founded the “Third Order of Penance” (the Third Order) which included lay people. He was the first person (recorded) to receive the stigmata (the five wounds of Christ) in 1224. He died on October 4, 1226 at Portiuncula, Italy. He was canonized by Gregory IX less than two years later.

Patron: against fire; animals; Catholic Action; dying alone; ecology; environment; families; fire; lacemakers; merchants; peace; zoos; Italy; Assisi, Italy; Colorado; Sante Fe, New Mexico; archdiocese of San Francisco, California; archdiocese of Denver, Colorado; archdiocese of Sante Fe, New Mexico; diocese of Salina, Kansas.

Symbols: birds and animals; bag of gold and rich raiment at his feet; winged crucifix with five rays; stigmata; crown of thorns; lighted lamp; fiery chariot; birds; deer; fish; skull; wolf; fire.

Things to Do:

  • Pray the Canticle of the Sun, which was written by St. Francis. 
  • For more reading, see the selections from the Catholic Culture Library. This page from the Franciscan Archives contains links about St. Francis of Assisi, including biographies, articles, writings, Orders & Societies, liturgical texts and art. 
  • Many parishes have a Blessing of animals or pets on this day. See the Prayers column for other alternatives. St. Francis loved all of God’s creatures. Find the stories of the Wolf of Gubbio, the Sermon to the Birds, his Canticle of Creatures to see some illustrations of his honoring God’s creation. 
  • St. Francis was influential on our present-day Christmas crib or creche. Find out more about this historical event. See the articles in our Activities top bar. 
  • Although St. Francis is one of the most popular saints of the Church, and his feast is a huge celebration in Assisi, there are no particular foods attached to that festival. Tradition has passed on that on his deathbed he requested Frangipane cream or Moastaccioli (almond biscotti). Fire is a symbol of St. Francis, first of all because his heart was on fire with love of God, but there are other stories in Little Flowers of St. Francis that deal with fire, particularly when he prayed, the surrounding areas would become so bright that people thought the areas were on fire. So a flaming dessert or wine would be an appropriate ending of a wonderful feast. One could also try some Umbrian style recipes, or just have “Italian night” at home, even just simple spaghetti or other pasta and sauces. 
  • Learn more about the Franciscan order, how it is has changed from Francis’ original “charter”. The Catholic Encyclopedia has a wonderful entry on St. Francis, including his Rule. And from the Catholic Culture Library you can read a detailed summary of the life of St. Francis and his founding of the Order of Friars Minor
  • What does poverty in our state of life mean? How can I follow the Gospels like Francis? 
  • Learn more about geography and history of the Umbria area, and how much Francis has impacted that area. 
  • Study art and photos of Francis. Find out more about the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. Although the earthquake in 1997 damaged the basilica, it reopened in 1999
  • This is an excellent Biography of St. Francis that includes wonderful material about Assisi and the surrounding areas. 
  • Read Little Flowers of St. Francis by Brother Ugolino online or purchase a copy. This is a collection of many stories and legends of the life of St. Francis. Of particular note is his Sermon to the Birds,

    “My little sisters the birds, ye owe much to God, your Creator, and ye ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty to fly about into all places; and though ye neither spin nor sew, he has given you a twofold and a threefold clothing for yourselves and for your offspring. Two of all your species he sent into the Ark with Noah that you might not be lost to the world; besides which, he feeds you, though ye neither sow nor reap. He has given you fountains and rivers to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys in which to take refuge, and trees in which to build your nests; so that your Creator loves you much, having thus favoured you with such bounties. Beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praise to God.”

     

Details

Date:
October 4
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