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WELCOME! I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith web site providing daily inspiration, quotes and religious resources. Faith and religion are precious gifts that bless.
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"St. Francis Giving His Mantle to a Poor Man"
Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267-1337)
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,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved, as to love;For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying, that we awake to eternal life.
--attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
The narrow streets of Assisi today
The words of St. Francis:
"When the sun comes up in the morning, everybody should
praise God, his Creator, because he gives us light for our eyes
in daytime. Then, when evening comes and it gets dark,
everybody should praise God for another creature, Brother
Fire, because he gives us light for our eyes at nighttime."
(Francis) went on to say, "We are like blind men, and the Lord
provides us with these two creatures so that we can have
light for our eyes to see."
Whether in good or bad health, he was always ready to praise
the Lord, and with zeal he called upon everybody else
to do the same thing.
Excerpted from "We Were with St. Francis,"
Edited and translated by Salvator Butler, OFM
Edizioni Porziuncola, 2003
The Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi, Italy
Once Francis had stopped for the night, at the monastery
of San Verecondo north of Assisi. Next morning when, mounted
on a donkey, he was preparing to set off for Gubbio, the peasants
warned him that the country was infested with ferocious wolves...
When he arrived at Gubbio people could talk of nothing else but
the wolves. There was one wolf especially that claimed their
attention. Of an extraordinary size and ferocity, always famished
and furious, it ate not only animals, but men and women. People
were so terrified that they went out from town armed from head to
foot...Now God, in order to make manifest His servant's sanctity,
inspired him to confront the raging wolf...
...(W)ith the sign of the cross, Francis stopped (the wolf). "Come
here, brother wolf!" he ordered. "In Christ's name,
I forbid you to be wicked."
At these words, the wolf put its head down and came
and lay at Francis' feet.
"...If you agree to make peace, brother wolf, I will tell the
people to feed you as long as you live, for I know that it was
hunger that drove you to commit so many crimes. Do you
promise never to harm man or beast again?"
The wolf bowed its head to show that it agreed, and
to seal the pact, placed its right paw in the Saint's out-
stretched hand. Francis then led the animal into town.
The wolf followed its benefactor like a lamb.
Excerpted from "St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography,"
by Omer Englebrecht
Franciscan Herald Press, 1965
"St. Francis Preaching to the Birds"
Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267-1337)
Nikos Kazantzakis tells the story of St. Francis
of Assisi standing in front of an almond tree in
mid-winter. St. Francis asked the tree to tell him
about God, and suddenly the tree began to blossom.
In just a few seconds, the almond tree was covered
with beautiful flowers. When I read this story, I
was very impressed. I saw that St. Francis stood on
the side of the ultimate dimension. It was winter;
there were no leaves, flowers, or fruits,
but he saw the flowers.
Excerpted from "Thich Nhat Hanh: Essential Writings"
Orbis Books, 2004
Church of San Rufino, in which Francis was baptized, from the hills above Assisi
Francis, it seems, was in "great agony of doubt
about whether he should devote himself only
to prayer and meditation, which was a common
practice in those days, or whether he should
also engage in preaching missions. Wisely,
Francis sought out council...
He sent messages to two of his most trusted
friends, Sister Clare and Brother Silvester,
asking them to meet with one of their "purer"
and more spiritual companions" and seek the
will of God in the matter. Immediately, they
gathered to pray and both Sister Clare and
Brother Silvester returned with the same answer.
When the messenger returned, St. Francis first
washed his feet and prepared him a meal. Then,
kneeling down before the messenger, St. Francis
asked him, "What does my Lord Jesus Christ order
me to do?" The messenger replied that Christ had
revealed that "He wants you to go about the world
preaching, because God did not call you to your-
self alone but also for the salvation of others.
Receiving the message as the undisputed word of
Christ, St. Francis jumped up saying, "So let's
-- in the name of the Lord," whereupon he
immediately embarked on a preaching mission.
That direction gave the early Franciscan
movement an unusual combination of
mystical contemplation and
Excerpted from "Seeking the Kingdom," by Richard J. Foster
Detail from the church doors of San Rufino, Assisi
Francis was a man of almost medium
height, rather slight of build, joyous
and kindly of countenance. He had a round
head,a low forehead, kind, black eyes,
straight brows, a straight well-shaped
nose; small, and as it were, uptilted ears.
His speech was penetrating and ardent; his
voice, strong and musical...He was lean,
with slender legs, and small feet...
He had a good intellect and an excellent
memory. His great eloquence melted men's
hearts. Ever courteous and mild, he was
open-handed, seldom angry, quick to for-
give, (and) knew how to keep a secret...
The words of Thomas Celano (c. 1200 - c. 1260-1270)
Franciscan monk, poet and St. Francis' first biographer
And now the Last Word:
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
all praise is yours, all glory, all
honor, and all blessing.
From "Canticle of the Creatures"
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Preach the Gospel at all times
and when necessary use words.
St. Francis of Assisi