Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 October – St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226) “The Brother of Jesus”

Saint of the Day – 4 October – St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226) – born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226), was an Italian Friar, Deacon, the First known Stigmatist, Founder, Mystic, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, of the Blessed Virgin, of Charity, Confessor, Missionary, Writer, Poet, Miracle-Worker, Preacher.   He founded 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.   Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.header-CNS-ST-FRANCIS.jpg

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.Master_of_the_bardi_saint_francis_._St._Francis_and_scenes_from_his_life_13_cent_Santa_croce

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.Flemish School; St Francis of Assisi

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 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 travelling 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.beautiful-francis-2

Francis was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News.   He decided 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.

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.bellini-saint-francis-saint

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. (via Franciscan media)

Detailed biography here:  Biography: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/saint-of-the-day-4-october-st-francis-of-assisi-o-f-m-1181-1226/st-francis-of-assisi_1St-Francis-Stained-Glass-Window-880x550beeautiful-francis-2

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s