Today is the feast day of probably one of the most “popular” of Roman Catholic saints, Francis of Assisi.
Born around 1182, He lived a life of privilege, and had hoped to become a knight. He lived a life of somewhat impropriaty, and was actually somewhat a drunk. He would be stricken with disease, and later received the vision “Rebuild My Church”. Upon this, he gave up everything he had, even his clothing (as in… in the middle of the street… ) – He Donned a Beggars Robe, and embraced what he called “Holy Poverty”. He Would found an order, later known as the Franciscans (who …their original rule was actually based on St Benedict’s rule of life). At first the Pope wasnt prepared to grant his request, but after a dream of seeing a Tiny Monk holding up a Church.. He saw it as a sign from God.
Francis’ new order would grow over the years, and Francis himself would travel to the holy Land, not as a Knight…but as a herald..a Monk… “God’s Troubador” is what they called him.
Towards the end of his life, he would receive the Stigmata, the Wounds of Christ…as he desired most earnestly to be Joined to Christ’s Cross. He would die Oct 3rd.
One of his most known writings, called “The Instrument of Peace” or “The Prayer of St Francis”… Defines his spirituality perfectly…and to a great degree, true contemplativism. For every vice…we are called to be a positive.
Francis is dear to me personally. MORE THEN ONCE his intersession and example have dragged me out of the hole. The First was a vision during prayer of this image, which until this time I had no idea even existed. I would almost for get it until seeing it at Our Lady of the Snows shrine.
There have been other cases as well.
Below is a wonderful recording of his Prayer.. from Sarah Mclachlan. It stays in my playlists on spotify often.
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
And where there is sadness, joy
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life