A well-researched biography of Saint Francis of Assisi must of necessity resound with the same two overriding themes: his deep, intense love for and devotion to his Savior, Jesus Christ; and his commitment to a radical living out of his Master’s example of poverty.
“A man makes the most progress and merits the most grace precisely in those matters wherein he gains the greatest victories over self and most mortifies his will.”
–St. Francis de Sales
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.
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.
“It is no use walking to preach unless we preach as we walk.”
–St. Francis of Assisi Read the rest…
It was about this time last year when Pope Benedict XVI gave a brilliant reflection on the history and meaning of Christmas, saying that only those who welcome Jesus with a child’s heart can recognize “the Lord in the Child” who comes to us on Christmas Day.
On the same day that representatives from over 190 countries met in South Africa to tackle the issue of climate change, Pope Benedict XVI addressed a group of Italian teenagers, urging them – and all of the faithful – to be “true guardians of life and creation”.