Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Monday, August 01, 2005

Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi
Francis was born into a prosperous family of merchants, and like many Fathers Pietro Bernadone, wanted Francis to work for the family business. Pietro wanted so much for Francis to become involved in the cloth business that he was furious when upon returning from France he found out his wife had named their son Giovanni, so he renamed their son Francis after the country that he admired so much, France.

Francis was very popular with his own generation, and enjoyed the excesses which wealth and a position in society can give. Almost everyone loved Francis, for he could be wild and loved to revel in good times, he rarely allowed his thoughts to wonder to God or the Catholic Faith. But Francis was not meant to follow in his fathers footsteps, and after leading a fairly dissolute life, God touched Francis heart with a most tremendous impact.

He spent a year as a war prisoner during a conflict between Assisi and Perugia. There he got a message from God to leave this earthly life. He started to take his religion seriously then. So he gave up everything material that he had, dressed in rough clothes and even begged for his sustenance. He visited hospitals, took care of the sick and preached in the streets.

From 1209 he attracted followers and when he had the papal blessing he started the Franciscan order. In 1224, 2 years before he died, he received the Stigmata in his hands, feet and side. He died on October 4th 1226 in Italy.

This was a man who truly lived the Gospel and we can learn alot from this Saint. He loved all creatures and nature, he took care of the lepers. By doing that he followed Jesus in all that he said and did.

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