Saint of the Day
Who Was St. Francis of Assisi?
His name was Francis…
He used to praise God the Artist in every one of God’s works. Whatever joy he found in things made he referred to their maker. He rejoiced in all the works of God’s hands. Everything cried out to him, “He who made us is infinitely good!”
He called animals “brother” or “sister,” and he exhorted them to praise God. He would go through the streets and byways, inviting everyone to sing with him. And one time when he came upon an almond tree, he said, “Brother Almond, speak to me of God.” And the almond tree blossomed.
That is what St. Francis of Assisi did, and that is what he does for us once we are caught up in his life and teachings. He makes us blossom, wherever and whoever we are. We blossom because we see in Francis what could happen to us if we were to embrace the overflowing goodness of God revealed in everything that exists, and let that embrace change us.
This page is our humble attempt to understand this humble man of God.
Saint of the Day: Francis of Assisi
The patron saint of Italy, Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance. Read More…
St. Francis and the Taming of the Wolf
The story of how St. Francis of Assisi tamed the Wolf of Gubbio is one of the great legends linked with the life of the saint. I have never been worried as to whether the story was true or not. I am interested in seeing how the story fits into the pattern of biblical themes and of God’s plans for creation.
7 Key Moments in the Life of St. Francis
Francis had dreams of becoming a knight on the battlefield. But shortly after riding off to fight against Perugia, a nearby town, he ended up in their prison, a broken and disillusioned young man. It was after his return from prison, and during the recovery that followed, that Francis’ life was changed. Read more…
St. Francis and Prayer
Only in prayer were Francis’ knightly ambitions turned in a new direction; only in prayer did he find the strength to lead the people who wanted to follow him—but on their own terms. Prayer enabled him to discover the link between the Church that Jesus established and the Church that needed conversion. Read more…
Why Francis Belongs on the Birdbath
People at times poke fun at some of the sappy images of Francis holding a rabbit or with birds flying around his head. And there are always those who like to belittle admirers of the saint when they place his statue in flower gardens or on a birdbath. In most cases, I beg to differ with this point of view. Read more…
St. Francis of Assisi’s Song of Praise
We could say that St. Francis’ prayer life was, “My God and my all!” and stop at that. Everything that can be stated about prayer in his life is expressed in those four little words. While the truth is contained in that brief and holy phrase, the way in which Francis reached that apex of prayer needs exploration. Read more…
A Look at the Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Few prayers are more popular around the world and better loved than the “Peace Prayer of Saint Francis.” Nearly everyone recognizes a happy harmony between the words of this prayer and the generous, joy-filled and peace-loving spirit of Francis of Assisi. Let us look at this prayer more closely. Read more…
Clare and Francis: Assisi’s Most Dangerous Citizens
In August 1212, if the small Umbrian city of Assisi’s post office had displayed “Wanted” posters, Chiara di Favarone di Offreduccio and Francesco Bernardone might well have been on them. Their crime? Seriously disrupting the social, economic, and religious stability of their native city. Read more…
St. Francis: Reformer, True Son of the Church
The romanticism that has surrounded Francis over the years doesn’t fit well with the historical facts. The temptation is to admire the saint, gush over his attractive qualities, and miss what he stood for. We run the risk of losing the real Francis and replacing him with an image often of our own making. Read more…
A Novena to St. Francis
Francis’ desire to experience God within himself also propelled him to lead a life modeled after the source of love: Jesus. It was a life of poverty, preaching, and penance lived in a spirit of humility. In his desire to so imitate Jesus, Francis freely shared what he already knew and pointed all to do the same. Click here for the novena.
A Prayer for St. Francis
Francis of Assisi was born into privilege and gave it up to embrace simplicity. He renounced the trappings of a comfortable life for one of penance and poverty. In this era of opulence, of having everything you could hope for at the tips of your fingers, could you do the same? Click here for the full prayer.
A little-known fact about Francis of Assisi is that he is considered one of the first Italian poets by literary critics. His “Canticle of the Creatures” combined his love for God with his mastery of poetry.
For Francis, poverty wasn’t a state or condition that afflicts some unfortunate people. For him, poverty was a choice—not something that anyone or anything imposed upon him.