Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

Thought for the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

Francis, the destitute and lowly, enters heaven, a rich man, acclaimed by the songs of angels!   (Antiphon for the Memoria of St Francis from the Divine Office)

Joyful Saint, Joyful Pope!

In my presence and in the presence of others, try to be always joyful, for it is not fitting that a servant of God appear before the brothers or other men with a sad and glum face. —Saint Francis

The encounter with the living Jesus…fills the heart with joy, because it fills it with true life, a profound goodness that does not pass away or decay. —Pope Francispapa f - joy

Saint Francis called himself God’s court jester—the Jongleur de Dieu—as he went about singing the praise of God.   Pope Francis brought the house down the night of his election, telling his brother cardinals, “May God forgive you!

One can’t help but notice a kind of effervescent joy that spreads happiness to others. These men have shattered the stereotype of rigid, grim, calcified piety.   They radiate something entirely different: the joy of Christ.

Jesus was attractive, in the literal sense of the word.   People wanted to meet Him and hear Him and follow Him.   Saint Francis had a similar effect and if the three million people who showed up at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro are any indication, Pope Francis does too.   The wisdom and faith of these men make them intriguing, to be sure, but their spirit of joy goes a long way in drawing these crowds.

Jesus, too, “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (Luke 10:21).   And he wanted us to share in his joy. “These things I have spoken to you,” Jesus told his disciples, “that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).   Twice again Jesus speaks in these terms: “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24), and, “These things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13).

This fullness of joy is our inheritance as Christians.   And it doesn’t always have to come with suffering!   The gift of knowing Christ, being subjects of the King of Kings, is a great joy in and of itself.   This is what Jesus taught:  “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).

Saint Francis and Pope Francis have given everything, dedicating their entire lives for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.   And in this they have found great joy.francis and franics

St Francis Pray for us and let us all pray for our Holy Father!francis pray 2 - 4 oct 2017

St Francis leaves us with his blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make His face to shine upon you

and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

ST FRANCIS PRAYER - MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint Francis of Assisi’s Song of Praise

Saint Francis of Assisi’s Song of Praise

We could simply say that Francis’ prayer life was, “My God and my all!” and stop at that. Everything that can be stated about prayer in the life of Saint Francis of Assisi is expressed in those four little words.   While the truth is contained in that brief and holy phrase, the way in which Francis reached that apex of prayer needs exploration.

In searching Francis’ journey in prayer, we discover our own way to believing and living “My God and my all!”   There are many significant markers in Francis’ prayer life but among them shines the Canticle.

The Canticle sings in simple words of praise all that Francis discovered of the glory and goodness of God.   All he learned through visions in his early conversion, from the words from the crucifix of San Damiano, his pummeling of God in prayer in the caves, his experiences of the brotherhood of lesser brothers, his own illness and approaching death–all is distilled to praise.

Each path Francis took on his journey to God led him to a single action:  praise of God. Through the entire domain of earth, from the glory of daybreak to nightfall’s softened light, Francis praises the Lord.   Through all weather, the elements of fire and water and the motherhood of the earth, Francis continues in praise.   Sickness and trial give birth to continuing praise.   The inevitable encounter with Sister Death spurs Francis to close his work with praise, blessing and thanksgiving.   Everything that happened in Francis’ life fueled the fire of his praise to the Lord.

Francis leaves us with a legacy of praise.   If we claim it as our heritage, we must use it as Francis did–in every circumstance of life without reservation.   “But,” we think, “I can’t praise God for my father’s Alzheimer’s disease.   How can I praise God for joblessness? For debilitating illness?   For the pain and grief that thunder through my life?”

Francis, like the Lord he followed, teaches us to praise God through the trials that enter every life.   Only then can we experience release from the bonds of anguish and despair. If we release our deepest emotions to God, we defuse their power to create havoc in our lives.

Learning to praise God through all the events with which life confronts us may seem like an impossible task.   In reality, all we have to do is begin to follow the path of praise. God will lead us on.

A Song of Brother Sun/Canticle of the Creatures
By St Francis of Assisi

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honour
and all blessing.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through Sister Moon and the stars:
in heaven You formed them clear
and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind;
and through the air, cloudy and serene
and every kind of weather,
through which You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night:
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister, Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us
and who produces various fruit
with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love
and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessèd are those who endure in peace:
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, for our Sister,
Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape:
woe to those who die in mortal sin.

Blessèd are those whom death will find
in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

a song of brother sun - st francis - 4 oct 2017

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

Quote/s of the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

“The one you are looking for,
is the one who is looking.”the one you are looking for - st francis - 4 oct 2017

“Let the whole world of mankind tremble,
the whole world shake
and the heavens exult when Christ,
the Son of the living God,
is on the altar in the hands of a priest.
O admirable heights and sublime lowliness!
O sublime humility! O humble sublimity!
That the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God,
so humbles Himself that for our salvation,
He hides Himself under the little form of bread!
Look, brothers, at the humility of God
and pour out your hearts before Him!
Humble yourselves, as well,
that you may be exalted by Him.
Therefore, hold back nothing
of yourselves, for yourselves,
so that He,
Who gives Himself totally to you,
may receive you totally.”let the whole world tremble - st francis - 4 oct 2017

“Therefore, O sons of men, how long will you be hard of heart?   Why do you not recognize the truth and believe in the Son of God? See, daily He humbles Himself as when He came from the royal throne into the womb of the Virgin;  daily He comes to us in a humble form;  daily He comes down from the bosom of the Father upon the altar in the hands of the priest.   And as He appeared to the holy apostles in true flesh, so now He reveals Himself to us in the sacred bread.   As they saw only his flesh by means of their bodily slight, yet believed Him to be God as they contemplated Him with the eyes of faith, so, as we see bread and wine with [our] bodily eyes, we too are to see and firmly believe them to be His most holy Body and Blood living and true.   And in this way the Lord is always with His faithful, as He Himself says:  Behold I am with you even to the end of the world (cf. Mt. 28:30).”therefore o sons of men - st francis - 2017

“What is it that stands higher than words?
ACTION.
What is it that stands higher than action?
SILENCE.”what is it that stands higher than words - st francis 4 oct 2017

“The deeds you do may be the only sermon
some persons will hear today.”the deeds you do - 4 oct 2017

“All things of creation are children of the Father
and thus brothers of man. …
God wants us to help animals, if they need help.
Every creature in distress has,
the same right to be protected.”all things of creation - st francis - 4 oct 2017

St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”….Matthew 19:23-24matthew 19 23-24

REFLECTION – “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received—only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”….St Francis of Assisiremember that when you leave - st francis - 4 oct 2017

PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Francis of Assisi, Christ-like in his poverty and humility, his gentleness and charity, his love and courage. Help us to walk in his ways that, with joy and love, we may follow Christ Your Son and be united with You. St Francis, pray for us, amen.st francis pray - 4 oct 2017

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS

Our Morning Offering – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

Our Morning Offering – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (1181–1226)

The Prayer before the San Damiano Crucifix
St Francis of Assisi

Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me
true faith,
certain hope,
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
Lord, that I may carry out,
Your holy and true command.  AmenPRAYER BEFORE THE CRUCIFIX SAN DAMIANO.2

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, Papa FRANCIS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 October – St Francis of Assisi O.F.M. (1181–1226)

Saint of the Day – 4 October – St Francis of Assisi O.F.M. Religious, Deacon, Confessor
Stigmatist and religious Founder, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin and of Charity, Preacher, Missionary, Mystic, Miracle-Worker, Co-patron of Italy, founder of the Seraphic Order – the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land, as well as being the Founder of the Nativity Crib and Manger as we know it today.

250px-S.Francesco_speco
The oldest surviving depiction of Saint Francis is a fresco near the entrance of the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco, painted between March 1228 and March 1229.   He is depicted without the stigmata but the image is a religious image and not a portrait.

Born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone ( informally calledas Francesco by his Mother) – (1181 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy – 4 October 1226 at Portiuncula, Italy of natural causes).  His relics are enshrined in the Basilica built and named for him in Assisi, Italy.  St Francis was Canonised on 16 July 1228 by Pope Gregory IX.   Patronages – • against dying alone• against fire• animal welfare societies• animals• birds• ecologists, ecology• environment, environmentalism, environmentalists• families• lace makers, lace workers• merchants• needle workers• peace• tapestry workers• zoos• Italy• Colorado• Catholic Action• Franciscan Order• 10 dioceses• 10 cities.   Attributes – • apparition of Jesus• Christ child• birds• deer• fish• lamb• skull• stigmata• wolf.  In 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy making him the first recorded person in Christian history to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142 (141).   Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. 

A - ST Francis header

B. st francis and the crib info

Francis was born in Assisi in 1182, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, Pietro Bernardone, and his wife, Pica.   He was baptised Giovanni (John) but soon gained the nickname Francesco because of his father’s close trading links with France.

Francis’ early years were not especially religious.   He was a leader among the young men of Assisi, enjoying a good social life, singing and partying.   His first biographer, Thomas of Celano, describes him as quite short, with black eyes, hair and beard;  he had a long face, with a straight nose and small, upright ears.   His arms were short but his hands and fingers slender and long.   He had a strong, clear, sweet voice.   Francis didn’t want to follow his father into the cloth trade;   he wanted to be a knight.   So at the age of twenty he joined the forces of Assisi in a minor skirmish with the neighbouring city of Perugia.   He was captured and spent a year in a Perugian jail, until his father ransomed him.   This became the first of a series of experiences through which God called Francis to the life which he finally embraced.

One of these experiences, at San Damiano, led to a rift with his father.   Francis, in response to a voice from the crucifix in this tiny ruined church, began to rebuild churches;   when he ran out of money he took cloth from his father’s shop and sold it.   His father disowned him before the bishop of Assisi and Francis in his turn stripped off his clothes, returning to his father everything he had received from him and promising that in future he would call only God his Father.

And thus, Francis of Assisi, this poor little man began a journey to astound and inspire 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 mite of self-importance.Flemish School; St Francis of Assisi

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 symbolised 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.

ea8079bd13b0302d84e404c85418a950--saint-francis-pope-francis

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 every material thing he had, 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 “nut,” begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, bringing sadness or disgust to the hearts of his former friends, ridicule from the unthinking.beeautiful francis 2.

But genuineness will tell.   A few people began to realise 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” (see Lk 9:1-3).

Francis’ first rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospels.   He had no idea 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.

He was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News.   He decerned in favour 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.beautiful francis 2.vision-of-st-francis-of-assisi-jusepe-de-ribera-detail-featured-w740x493

During the last years of his relatively short life (he died at 44) he 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, he 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 to have his clothes removed when the last hour came and for permission to expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord.Death-of-St-Francis-of-Assisi-Evora-Portugal-Igreja-de-Sao-Francisco

On 13 March 2013, upon his election as Pope, Archbishop and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina chose Francis as his papal name in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi, becoming Pope Francis I.
At his first audience on 16 March 2013, Pope Francis told journalists that he had chosen the name in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi and had done so because he was especially concerned for the well-being of the poor.   He explained that, as it was becoming clear during the conclave voting that he would be elected the new bishop of Rome, the Brazilian Cardinal Cláudio Hummes had embraced him and whispered, “Don’t forget the poor”, which had made Bergoglio think of the saint.   Bergoglio had previously expressed his admiration for St Francis, explaining that “He brought to Christianity an idea of poverty against the luxury, pride, vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the time.   He changed history.”   Bergoglio’s selection of his papal name is the first time that a pope has been named Francis.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Memorials of the Saints – 4 October

St Francis of Assisi (Memorial)

St Adauctus of Ephesus
Bl Alfonso Tabela
St Ammon the Great
St Aurea
Berenice
St Caius of Corinth
St Callisthene of Ephesus
St Crispus of Corinth
St Damaris of Athens
St Diogenes of Milan
St Domnina
St Hierotheus
Bl Julian Majali
St Lucius of Alexandria
St Peter of Damascus
St Petronius of Bologna
St Prosdoce
St Quintius of Tours

Martyrs of Alexandria – 2+ saints: A group of Christians, men and women, young and old, murdered together for their faith. The only names that have come down to us are the brothers Mark and Marcian.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Avelí Martínez de Arenzana Candela
• Blessed Dionisio Ibáñez López
• Blessed Francisco Martínez Granero
• Blessed Fulgencio Martínez García
• Blessed José Aloy Doménech
• Blessed José Gafo Muñiz
• Blessed José Miguel Peñarroya Dolz
• Blessed Juan de Francisco Pío
• Blessed Juan José Orayen Aizcorbe
• Blessed Martina Vázquez Gordo
• Blessed Publio Fernández González
• Blessed Tomás Barrios Pérez
• Blessed Francisco Martínez Granero
• Blessed Fulgencio Martínez García
• Blessed José Aloy Doménech
• Blessed José Gafo Muñiz
• Blessed José Miguel Peñarroya Dolz
• Blessed Juan de Francisco Pío
• Blessed Juan José Orayen Aizcorbe
• Blessed Martina Vázquez Gordo
• Blessed Publio Fernández González
• Blessed Tomás Barrios Pérez