Saint Francis of Assisi (1182 – 1226) – we know all about him. The gentle garden figure, bird perched on his shoulder, rabbits at his feet; the peace prayer hymn we sing at Mass; his Canticle of the Sun, praising God for all facets of Creation; the lover of poverty simply clad in a rough brown robe.
“O Jesus, my Love, my Life … I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach Your Name and to plant Your glorious Cross on infidel soil. But O my Beloved, one mission alone would not be sufficient for me. I would want to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years only but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.” (Story of a Soul)
Today, the Church recalls this sobering truth: the life of Mary of Nazareth, although filled with many joys, was underscored with sorrows beyond our imagining. Traditionally, the list of the Sorrows of Our Lady is comprised of seven.
Oh, what joy in heaven on that day!
On the Franciscan calendar, August 2nd marks a very special Marian feast day, one which commemorates the remarkable connection between Our Lady of the Angels and Saint Francis of Assisi. The story behind this connection is well worth telling.
Our heavenly Father knows well how to delight His creatures’ human senses. This is never more evident than in spring, when nature, God’s own handiwork, surrounds us not only with the beauty of plants in full flower, but also with their aroma. Hyacinth, lavender, lilac, and sweetpea are just a few of the many varieties that fall into this fragrant category, blossoming at various times during the months of spring.
The beauty of the month of May is reflected not only in nature but also in its dedication to Our Lady and in recognition of our earthly mothers. Additionally, it is the traditional time of great rejoicing as colleges and universities across the country celebrate commencement ceremonies.
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As a Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy Chaplain Corps, Father Vincent Capodanno finally reached a much-anticipated goal, arriving in Vietnam during Holy Week, 1966. While he couldn’t know it at the time, stepping onto Vietnamese soil initiated his journey to his own personal passion, his own way of the cross, at the same time that the Passion of Jesus was being commemorated.