Franciscan Spirit Blog

Saint Francis Novena | Day One: Conversion

Where there is Love and Wisdom, there is neither Fear nor Ignorance.
Where there is Patience and Humility, there is neither Anger nor Annoyance.
Where there is Poverty and Joy, there is neither Cupidity nor Avarice.
Where there is Peace and Contemplation, there is neither Care nor Restlessness.
Where there is Fear of God to guard the dwelling, there no enemy can enter.
Where there is Mercy and Prudence, there is neither Excess nor Harshness.
(Admonition XXVII)


Saint Francis of Assisi was one of most free people who has ever lived—internally free, that is. His conversion had its dramatic moments (for example, embracing a leper along the road), but it was an ongoing, progressive opening himself to God’s grace and to the life changes which that grace always sets in motion.

Because we are constantly tempted to think that God will ask too much from us, we wonder: “Will the first pair of virtues in each line above lead us to what concludes each line? Will love and wisdom truly keep us from fear and ignorance?”

Thomas of Celano, the first biographer of Francis, wrote that the Poor Man of Assisi seemed to his contemporaries like “a man from another world.” He increasingly based his life on God’s sense of “normal”—and that meant progressively deeper conversion to God’s ways.

God’s grace needs room to work in a person’s life. Conversion creates that room in us by reassessing what is truly important and what is not. The beggar whom Francis could easily have dismissed became an instrument of God’s grace.

Saint Francis on…

Conversion: “When I was in sin, it seemed extremely bitter to me to look at lepers, and the Lord himself led me among them and I practiced mercy with them. When I had once become acquainted with them, what had previously nauseated me became a source of spiritual and physical consolation for me. After that I did not wait long before leaving the world.”


Good and gracious God, you have created us in
your image and likeness. We are constantly
tempted to try to improve on your work by finding
some shortcut, some way that will save us time
and energy. Help us to remember, as Saint Francis
of Assisi knew very well, that conversion to your
ways is indeed the quickest and only reliable way
to you.

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10 thoughts on “Saint Francis Novena | Day One: Conversion”

  1. Saint Francis is wonderful. He’s one of the many Saints that I pray to every day at 4 AM Eastern standard time I mean we all know the prayer Lord make me an instrument of your peace with there is hatred let me so love you etc. etc. but I’m so happy to be involved in another novena I Prayed and novena to Saint Jude and I’m in the middle of praying a novena to Saint Theresa the little flower so I just get the word out there that’s all I do. I give the law about an hour and a half every morning and then, at 3 o’clock every day, I see the chaplet of divine mercy and all through the day. I just keep saying it myself Jesus I trust in you , a lot of things have happened to me in the past three years but it gives us grace and virtue that’s all I can say. God bless everyone on this site God is great.

  2. Sr Marian Chilonga

    Nice one, and l thank God for the give of St. Francis to us and to the church. May his spirit continue to grow in us as Franciscan.

  3. Saint Francis has always been a favorite of my 62 years of marriage wife. I too now, the ever slow follower, see why most Catholics SO admire the man from Assisi, his ways, his lead. The prayer to St.Francis may well be my favorite. Oh Jesus, thank you for this saintly man.

    1. I grew up in St Francis Parish, have always loved this saint. My mom was born in October and so too both my girls. It is a special month because of St Francis. We who grew up in the 30’s and 40’s know what poor means and understand what Francis did. Gave away his wealth to help the poor. Lord, I pray for the compassion of St. Francis that he can be proud of my service to Jesus.

  4. I am inspired day by day by the wonders of the great Saints who gave up there ives so that we may have life and life to the fullest. Thank you dear Lord, thank do everything great saint_. Amen

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