Francis of Assisi

POETRY: Francis Meets A Leper by David Citino

July 5, 2018

He heard the bell toll, erratic in a palsied hand, and smelled the goatish scent before he saw the figure moving in mist on the road to Assisi, a traveler gloved and shod, as was the law, to hide the sores, a man’s inhumanity, missing fingers and toes, and tried to unmask the face, slack muscles showing nothing but astonishment, lower lids keeping eyes open always to our providential decay, flesh soft and thick as rotten wood. Francis saw in bleary eyes, near to him as his mother’s as she loved him, a brother, then someone dearer, wrapped as he’d seen others in his father’s cloth that first had profited English shepherds and the weavers of Ghent, a skin bleached white as bone, a flower blazing in snow, so close to [...]

WISDOM STORY: Providence by Nathalie Leone

October 12, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom A priest had shut himself in his cell to write a sermon on divine providence. Suddenly he heard an explosion.  The dam that protected the small town had just given way and the river burst its banks in a roar of flood water that swept along everything in its path. The priest, distraught, was about to give way to panic when he caught sight of his sermon on divine providence.  He pulled himself together and calmed down. The village was flooded and most people stayed cloistered indoors.  Some of them, however, did venture out, waist-deep in water, in search of help.  A rescue boat soon arrived under the presbytery windows. The rowers called out to the priest, gesticulating to him. “No, no,” he said to [...]

WISDOM STORY: Prayers Heard! by Nathalie Leone

October 5, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Two men in conversation were seated on the edge of a pubic fountain whose fine jet of water splashed them gently. The first man said: “When I need a favor, either for myself or others, I ask for it on my knees, behaving with the good Lord as I would with a merchant who seeks only to dispense his surplus knowledge.  And I pray, ask, and beg.” “Are your prayers always answered?” asked the other man, skeptical. “Always.  Either the favor is granted or I feel my will merge in such a manner with God’s will that, at that very moment, I wish for everything he wishes [...]

WISDOM STORY: Bernard and Francis by Nathalie Leone

September 7, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Francis had just withdrawn from the world and had embraced complete poverty. But the people of Assisi, his friends, his parents, and his acquaintances of long standing all thought him mad. They held him in contempt. When he went into town, people jostled him, threw nuts at him, and scolded him. They insulted him to his face and hurled at him all abuse they could think of. Francis bore everything, without getting angry. He never even answered them. Now a man was observing him from the window of his house. He was surprised to see him put up with such scorn so readily. “Either he really is completely mad,” he said to himself, “or he has received special grace from God.” This man’s name was Bernard [...]

MYSTICISM: The Way Of Joy — Francis of Assisi by John Michael Talbot

August 2, 2017

From The Way of the Mystics Late one moonlit night, the citizens of Assisi, Italy, were awakened from their slumber by a frightful commotion.  The cause of the disturbance was a local youth named Francis, but none of the townspeople realized that yet.  All they knew was that the bells of their town church were clanging chaotically in the middle of the night. These were the same bells that sounded throughout the daylight hours, chiming out familiar tones at morning, noon, and dusk.  But this wasn’t daylight, and this noise was no pretty melody.  It sounded like a pack of hyenas had been let loose in the bell tower. When a few droopy-eyed town fathers made their way to the central square in their nightshirts and slippers, they were [...]

POETRY: The Sacraments by Francis of Assisi

August 2, 2017

I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments— he got so excited and ran into a hollow in his tree and came back holding some acorns, an owl feather, and a ribbon he had found. And I just smiled and said, “Yes, dear, you understand: everything imparts His [...]

PRAYER: Praise To God Most High by Francis of Assisi

July 31, 2017

(Found on the other side of the parchment from St. Francis’s blessing of Brother Leo.) You alone are holy, Lord God, you do wonderful things. You are strong. You are great. You are the Most High. You are the almighty King, the holy Father, King of Heaven and Earth. You are Trinity and Unity, O Lord God, all goodness. You are good, all good, the supreme good, Lord God, living and true. You are charity and love. You are wisdom. You are humility. You are patience. You are serenity. You are peace. You are joy and gladness. You are justice and self-restraint. You are our wealth, our treasure, and our satisfaction. You are beauty. You are mercy. You are our protector. You are our guardian and defender. You are strength. You are [...]

PRAYER: The Praises Of The Trinity by Francis of Assisi

June 10, 2017

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, Who is and who was and who is to come. Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever. Worthy are you, O Lord our God, to receive praise, glory, honor, and blessing. Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever. Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and divinity, wisdom and strength, honor, glory, and blessing. Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever. Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever. All the works of the Lord, now bless the Lord. Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever. Praise God, all of you his servants, and you that fear him, both small and great. Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever. Let [...]

FOOLISHNESS: Francis And The Foolishness Of God by Marie Dennis, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Joseph Nagle, & Stuart Taylor

October 4, 2016

From St. Francis and the Foolishness of God Biblical Foundations for the Fool of God A long tradition of fools exists within the Bible.  In the Hebrew scriptures we see Jeremiah parading naked in the streets of Jerusalem to drive home a prophetic point.  In the New Testament we first catch sight of John the Baptist wearing a camel skin; eating grasshoppers and honey; and hanging out in a desert inhabited only by wild beasts, demons, madmen, and an occasional saint.  John is a hard one to follow in this mad-cap comedy, but the apostles manage to bring the house down.  In the ecstatic moment of Pentecost, they reel like drunks in the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself is the head clown of this tradition, the divine fool who, [...]

POETRY: Two Prayers For Two Stones by Sisters M. Thaddeus Thom & Regina Marie Gentry

October 3, 2016

(The Church of San Damiano lies outside the walls of Assisi.  As Francis wandered about he happened upon this church and upon entering was confronted with an icon of the crucified.  Interiorly, Christ asked Francis to repair his church.  Francis, taking this command literally, began repairing San Damiano by begging stones from the townspeople.) “Two prayers for two stones,” Cried the son of Peter Bernardone. “One prayer for just one stone,” He called as he walked alone. “St. Damien’s is sadly in need of repair— Aren’t there any townsfolk who really care? The poor priest has only rags to wear And the Lord’s altar is quite bare.” “I promise two prayers for two stones,” [...]

POETRY: Letter To Saint Francis by Abigail Carroll

February 17, 2016

When you broke with the world, you gave up jerkins and boots (Italian leather, no less), the title to your name. In light of your example, I hereby forsake (not wanting to duplicate) the paisley, polarized shades I have wanted to buy for some months (now on sale at Rite Aid), plans for a new voile spread and matching shams—you see, my room (unaltered in years), is begging for a complete re-do. In addition, I forthwith happily resign (and with only a little shame) my ignorance of bird songs, apathy toward insects, and above all else (no simple task) my solemn right to complain—about weather, fractures, vacuuming, (the Lord gives) or the sudden need for new axels, a change of plans, someone to love (the Lord takes away) I’d also [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For A Lenten Journey by Francis of Assisi

February 12, 2016

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, give us miserable ones the grace to do for you alone what we know you want us to do and always to desire what pleases you. Inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and, by your grace alone, may we make our way to you, most high, who live and rule in perfect trinity and simple unity, and are glorified God almighty, forever and ever. [...]

STORY: Francis Of Assisi — Two Loaves of Bread by Gerard Thomas Straub

December 10, 2015

From The Sun & Moon Over Assisi PILGRIMAGE DIARY 29 Halfway through our pilgrimage, we needed a break, some space and time for quiet and reflection.  Whenever Francis wanted to be alone with God, he always sought out some mountaintop cave which would become his hermitage, but there was one notable exception.  In the year 1211 (or possibly 1213), Francis spent Lent on an island.  Isola Maggiore is one of three small islands located in Lago Trasimeno (Lake Trasimene), the largest lake in the Italian peninsula.  Lent, of course, is a time of fasting and penance, which were both important elements in Francis’s spirituality.  Penance, for Francis, was an open channel to complete absorption in God.  Fasting helped him curb his [...]

PRAYER: Prayer To The Holy Trinity by Francis of Assisi

June 1, 2015

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, grant us in our misery the grace to do for you alone what we know you want us to do, and always to desire what pleases you. Thus, inwardly cleansed, inwardly enlightened, and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And by your grace alone, may we make our way to you, Most High, who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity and are glorified, God all-powerful, forever and ever. Amen. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer And Thanksgiving by Francis of Assisi

April 20, 2015

All-powerful, most holy, most high and supreme God Holy and just Father Lord, King of Heaven and Earth we thank you for yourself for through your only Son with the Holy Spirit You have created all things spiritual and corporal and, having made us in your own image and likeness, you placed us in paradise. And through our own fault we have fallen. And we thank you for as through your Son you created us so also, through your holy love, with which you loved us, you brought about his birth as true God and true man by the glorious, ever-virgin, most blessed, holy Mary and you willed to redeem us captives through his cross and blood and death. And we thank you for your Son himself will come again in the glory of his majesty to send the wicked [...]

POETRY: Saint Francis And The Sow by Galway Kinnell

November 12, 2014

The bud stands for all things, even for those things that don’t flower, for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing; though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness, to put a hand on its brow of the flower and retell it in words and in touch it is lovely until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing; as Saint Francis put his hand on the creased forehead of the sow, and told her in words and in touch blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow began remembering all down her thick length, from the earthen snout all the way through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail, from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine down through the great broken heart to the sheer blue milken dreaminess [...]

A LITTLE FLOWER: About The Apparition Of The Seraph And The Imprinting Of The Holy Stigmata On Saint Francis

December 22, 2013

From The Little Flowers Of Saint Francis Regarding the Third Consideration, that is, the apparitions of the Seraph and the imprinting of the Stigmata, you should know that when the Feast of the Cross in September was approaching, Brother Leo went one night at the usual time to say matins with Saint Francis. And after he had called, “Domine, labia mea aperties,” from the end of the bridge, as he usually did and as he had been ordered to do by the saint, Saint Francis did not answer.  Now Brother Leo did not go back, as Saint Francis had instructed him, but with a good and holy intention he went across the bridge and quietly entered the saint’s cell.  By the bright moonlight shining in through the door, he saw that he was not in the [...]

SERMON: Beware If You Have No Temptations by Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney

September 29, 2013

Whom does the devil pursue most?  Perhaps you are thinking that it must be those who are tempted most; these would undoubtedly be the habitual drunkards, the scandalmongers, the immodest and shameless people who wallow in moral filth, and the miser, who hoards in all sorts of ways.  No, my dear brethren, no, it is not these people.  On the contrary, the Devil despises them, or else he holds onto them, lest they not have a long enough time in which to do evil, because the longer they live, the more their bad example will drag souls into hell.  Indeed, if the Devil had pursued this lewd and shameless old fellow too closely, he might have shortened the latter’s life by fifteen or twenty years, and he would not then have destroyed the [...]

POETRY: Brother Francis To Brother Leone by W. S. Di Piero

June 19, 2013

In my dream I watched it from a windowsill Come see this raptor’s shadow hushed down green-brick tenements Bulk beak and feather struck and tumbled aslant the air with sparrow or chimney swift Wilderness breathes wherever we are and headed to O’Hare late fall I saw on its vague bare branch a goshawk grace yes and auspicious terror I should watch with him I should be poorer than any wing of the air If you could have seen (this is a different story) above us cloud studies out of Constable Pescadero’s sandstone cliffs steeped and chewed by tides I held Brother Antonio’s hand so afraid was he the cliff would crumble What was that? as if what then came had already happened the osprey’s sea-foam breast sign we said of the Holy Spirit [...]

PRAYER: Special Prayers to Saint Anthony of Padua

June 17, 2013

Prayer to Find What Is Lost Since your death, Saint Anthony, the Lord has worked countless wonders and answered the prayers of countless people because of your loving prayer for them.  Those who have experienced the power of prayer offered through you have told how God was pleased to help them in their need, restoring peace of mind, healing the sick, or finding what was lost, spiritual or material.  Now in our need we ask you to pray for each of us that we might continue to share in God’s loving care and protection and through you be drawn to eternal life. Amen. Prayer to Saint Anthony Holding the Child Jesus Blessed Anthony, Jesus was the center of your life.  It must be the same for me, as for every Christian.  Your purity of [...]

ADVENT MEDITATION: Shipwrecked At The Stable by Brennan Manning

December 20, 2012

Do you think you could contain Niagara Falls in a teacup? Is there anyone in our midst who pretends to understand the awesome love in the heart of the Abba of Jesus that inspired, motivated, and brought about Christmas?  The shipwrecked at the stable kneel in the presence of mystery. God entered into our world not with the crushing impact of unbearable glory, but in the way of weakness, vulnerability, and need.  On a wintry night in an obscure cave, the infant Jesus was a humble, naked, helpless God who allowed us to get close to him. We all know how difficult it is to receive anything from someone who has all the answers, who is completely cool, utterly unafraid, needing nothing and in control of every situation.  We feel unnecessary, [...]

PRAYER: The Prayer Inspired By The Our Father by Francis of Assisi

October 4, 2012

O OUR most holy FATHER Our Creator, Redeemer, Consoler, and Savior, WHO ARE IN HEAVEN: In the angels and in the saints, Enlightening them to love, because You, Lord, are light Inflaming them to love, because You, Lord are love Dwelling in them and filling them with happiness because You, Lord, are the Supreme Good, the Eternal Good from Whom comes all good without Whom there is no good. HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: May our knowledge of You become ever clearer That we may know the breadth of Your blessings the length of Your promises the height of Your majesty the depth of Your judgments. YOUR KINGDOM COME: So that You may rule in us through Your grace and enable us to come to Your kingdom where there is an unclouded vision of You a perfect love [...]

LITTLE FLOWERS: Saint Francis Preaches To The Birds

October 4, 2012

Saint Francis, humble servant of God, a short time after his conversion, having gathered together many companions and received them into the Order, fell into great perplexity and doubt touching what it behooved him to do — whether to be wholly intent on prayer, or sometimes to preach.  And greatly he desired to know the will of God touching these things.  But since the holy humility wherewith he was filled suffered him not to lean overmuch on his own judgment, nor on his own prayers, he thought to seek the divine will through the prayers of others.  Wherefore he called Friar Masseo to him and spoke to him thus, “Go to Sister Clare and bid her from me that she and some of the most spiritual of her companions pray devoutly unto God, [...]

POETRY: Our Need For Thee by Francis of Assisi

October 3, 2012

In our ever present need for thee: Beloved, let us know your peace. Let us be your instruments that break every shackle, for do not the caged ones weep. And give us our inheritance of divine love so that we can forgive like you. And let us be wise, so that we do not wed another’s madness and then make them in debt to us for the deep gash their helpless raging lance will cause. Darkness is an unlit wick; it just needs your touch, Beloved, to become a sacred flame. And what sadness in this world could endure if it looked into your eyes? God is like a honeybee. He doesn’t mind me calling Him that; for when you are kind—sweet—He nears, and can draw you into Himself. What is there to understand of each other: if a wand turned [...]

POETRY: A Wedding Gift by Francis of Assisi

October 3, 2012

I hear you singing, dear, inviting me to your limb. I am coming, for all that we do is a preparation for love. I hear you singing, my Lord, inviting me to your throne. We are coming, dear, for all the toil you have blessed us with is a preparation to know and hold the sacred. I hear you singing, my soul, but how can it be that God’s voice has now become my own? “That is just a wedding gift for our Divine Union,” my Beloved [...]

POETRY: In His Sanity by Francis of Assisi

October 3, 2012

If all the tenderness in this world could reflect from my eyes, would you accept that love? If all the forgiveness the heavens have known could be offered from one face, would you accept that divine pardon? In His sublime sanity— every moment God offers that to us: anything that might [...]

POETRY: A Kind Face by Francis of Assisi

October 3, 2012

Joy is the greatest cleanser, and it is the greatest testimony to our faith. “Toil with happiness,” my Lord once said to me. God sent a servant on an errand through a dangerous part of the world. The servant, having received in hand what God wanted delivered, turned to the Holy and said, “My Beloved Master, do you have a final instruction?” and God replied, “A kind face is a precious [...]