Saint Francis of Assisi stands out as a beacon of inspiration in the annals of the Church. Rather than interpreting the gospel in a restrictive sense, he lived it out, mirroring the words and deeds of Jesus without any pretense or self-promotion. To capture the breadth of his life’s magnificence in a few words is challenging.

A severe illness was a turning point for the young Francis, leading him to question the frivolity of his early years as Assisi’s youth leader. An intimate journey of prayer brought him closer to Christ’s self-sacrifice, epitomized when he lovingly embraced a leper on his path. This act was a testament to his spiritual transformation and dedication to the divine call: to despise worldly desires and find joy in God’s ways.

An encounter with a crucifix in the dilapidated San Damiano chapel changed his life. The voice of Christ urged, “Francis, repair my house, which is in ruins.” While Francis took this message to heart, rebuilding the physical structure, he likely sensed a deeper, metaphorical significance.

Renouncing all material ties, he even stood undressed before his father, signaling his complete surrender to the heavenly Father. His radical commitment to Christian ideals initially earned him disdain and ridicule. However, as is often the case, authenticity shines through. Slowly, onlookers recognized his unwavering intent to embody Christ’s teachings, particularly the message of living a life of simplicity, as found in Luke 9:1-3.

Though Francis never aimed to establish an order, the inception of the Franciscan Order was inevitable, given his influence. His steadfast commitment to the Church was commendable, especially in an era marred by divisive reformative tendencies.

Francis grappled with the choice between a contemplative life and active evangelism. He leaned towards the latter but found solace in solitude whenever possible. His missionary aspirations were cut short by unfortunate circumstances. Still, his zeal led him to attempt converting the Egyptian sultan during the Fifth Crusade.

Towards his life’s end, ailing and almost blind, Francis was imprinted with the stigmata, bearing the wounds of Christ. As he neared his end, he praised God for the inevitable, singing about “Sister Death” and wishing to depart this world as humbly as Jesus had.

Loved globally, Saint Francis is venerated as the patron of myriad causes including Italy, animals, ecology, and numerous cities and dioceses. His legacy serves as a reminder of the transformative power of truly living the gospel.

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  1. St. Clare helps my household hugely! We have 8 dogs and 3 cats plus squatters. She is so down to earth and fun…Someday I hope to thank her in person, sit on the floor of San Damiano and play with the pets.

    I believe Francis’ strongest guiding vision was the democratic bond we all share as creatures of one Father. He had to overcome a bit of snobbery in himself, and fear of the leper…he would not be a saint if he didn’t battle with himself. He loved the Sacrament because it was peculiar to Jesus…it was Jesus’ idea to stay with us in our material pilgrimage hiding in bread and wine.

    To love God is open to all…but the Eucharist is uniquely the brainchild of Jesus.

    For Francis it was very up close and personal, not a luck charm or ancestral custom. For many Catholics the Faith is almost ancestor worship or even politics. The Catholic cemetery here has more Irish flags and Georgia Bulldog souvenirs than flowers! Francis really loves Jesus, human and Divine.

  2. Visited Assisi and Gubbio (where he tamed the wolf) in 2015; such a peaceful and happy place! Assisi was also a holy place during the worst times of WWII, hiding hundreds of Jews during the German occupation. The bishop there is listed as a Righteous Gentile at Yad Vashem in Israel. A story is told that the Germans originally wanted Assisi as a combat related headquarters. The decision maker, a German officer, just kept having the feeling this was totally wrong, based on the sacred history of the town. He suggested they turn it into a medical center for wounded soldiers, pointing out the many convents of nuns included highly trained nurses. Assisi was saved, and there are other stories too of that time, showing the hand of God. St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!

  3. From a merchant’s son to a soldier and would-be crusader to a monk and church-builder. St. Francis was an amazing and inspiring figure.

  4. St Francis of Assisi please protect us tonight & always in our home please help us fix our home which is in bad repair-
    grant us financial aid urgently
    cure mum of all ailments & give her many more happy & healthy years with us

  5. “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; 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.

  6. Spent the fest day of St Francis at a Indian Pueblo in northern NM which St Francis is their patron saint!
    What a wonderful blessed day starting with Mass and then a procession around the Pueblo ending with the Indians dancing and celebrating and open invitation into their homes with sharing their food. It’s my second year of attending and I hope I have many more years to look forward too.

  7. St. Francis of Asisi pray for us, especially for my family, aunty in Singapore, friends, Ann and husband battling with cancer, Anthony Marcus for speedy recovery,Freddie Mcleod for a safe operation and speedy recovery and all others who are unwell and need prayers.

  8. For the Holy Spirit to flood Pope Francis today with righteousness and clarity, that he may stand firm against the injustices of crimes against Mother Church, both from within and from without, to restore Her credibility as the One True Faith. Amen.
    Ecce Crucem Domini!
    Fugite partes adversae!
    Vicit Leo de tribu Juda,
    Radix David! Alleluia!
    Saint Anthony, pray for us. Saint Peter, pray for us.
    Saint Francis of Assisi, compassionately pray for us.

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