Posted by: matt25 | October 4, 2014

St Francis Pray For Us

St Francis of Assisi was the guy who loved animals, right? Yes, but if that is the depth of your understanding of his life and spirituality you looked only at the book’s cover and never read it.

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Francis was a bright and talented “life of the party” kind of guy.
He was a soldier who was wounded, imprisoned, and held for ransom.
He was a disillusioned young man in poor health who went for long walks in the countryside.
Some people, probably most, thought he was delusional when he said he heard a voice come from a crucifix on the wall.
Francis was a man who surrendered in a radical way to God’s calling.
He was used as an instrument of reform and renewal in people’s hearts and minds, and the Church.
Francis was the founder of a religious order, who received the stigmata.
I encourage you to look inside the book and read the chapters. But for now, let us pray.

St Francis pray for us.
Intercede for us before the Throne of Divine Mercy that we may hear God speak to us, and have the grace to say yes to what is asked, without stopping to count the cost.
Help us to see the incarnation of our God who is as close to us as the beating of our hearts, the out reached hand of the homeless, the hidden pain of the prisoner, and the warmth of the sun on our face.
Lead us to rebuild the church in our hearts, the church in our homes, the church in our country, and the church in our Church.
Encourage us to be radically loving intentional disciples of the Christ of God, Jesus our Savior.
St. Francis, pray for us.

Saturday 4 October 2014
About Today
St Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226)

Francis was the son of a prosperous cloth merchant in Assisi. When his father objected to having his goods sold without his consent to pay for the restoration of a church, the bishop commanded Francis to repay the money. He did. He also renounced his father and gave back everything he had ever been given, even his garments. He began a life of perfect evangelical poverty, living by begging and even then only accepting the worst food that people had to give. He preached to all the love of God and the love of the created world; because, having renounced everything, he celebrated everything he received, or saw, or heard, as a gift. A rich man sold everything and joined him in living next to a leper colony; a canon from a neighbouring church gave up his position and joined them also. They looked into the Gospel and saw the story of the rich young man whom Jesus told to sell everything; they saw Jesus telling his disciples to take nothing with them on their journey; they saw Jesus saying that his followers must also carry his cross. And on that basis they founded an order. Francis went to Rome himself and persuaded the Pope to sanction it, though it must have seemed at once impractical and subversive, to set thousands of holy men wandering penniless round the towns and villages of Europe.
Because Francis was wearing an old brown garment begged from a peasant, tied round the middle with string, that became the Franciscan habit. Ten years later 5,000 men were wearing it; a hundred years later Dante was buried in it because it was more glorious than cloth of gold.
There is too much to say about Francis to fit here. He tried to convert the Muslims, or at least to attain martyrdom in doing so. He started the practice of setting up a crib in church to celebrate the Nativity.
Francis died in 1226, having started a revolution. The Franciscans endure to this day.

“Catholic Calendar” iPad app

Illustration is from http://www.greatthoughtstreasury.com

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