Saturday, October 4, 2008

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

FRIAR'S CORNER, October 5, 2008:

Saturday (October 4) is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, better known as the Franciscans – the religious Order that Fr. Mike and I are members of. I thought about writing about his life today, but I think most people know the broad strokes of his saintly life: lived in the 13th century, radical reformer of the Church, founder of three great religious Orders, first saint ever to receive the sacred stigmata (the wounds of Christ). Instead, though, I thought today I would just share with you a few of his prayers that are favorites of mine and perhaps of yours.

When I mention prayers of St. Francis, most people immediately think of the prayer beginning, “Make me a channel of your peace.” This is a beautiful prayer and it certainly captures the spirit of St. Francis, but most scholars today tell us he probably didn’t write it. But, my favorite prayer of St. Francis is one that he did write and it is called the “Prayer Before the Crucifix.” I pray this prayer every day at Mass just after receiving Holy Communion:

Most high, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me Lord,
a correct faith,
a certain hope,
a perfect charity,
wisdom and understanding,
so that I may carry out Your holy and true command.

I will share one more with you. St. Francis had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. He wrote many prayers in her honor, but here is one:

Hail, O Lady, Mary, holy Mother of God:
you are the Virgin made Church
and the one chosen by the most holy Father in heaven
whom He consecrated with His most holy beloved Son
and with the Holy Spirit the Paraclete,
in whom there was and is the fullness of grace and every good
Hail His Palace!
Hail His Tabernacle!
Hail His Home!
Hail His Robe!
Hail His Servant!
Hail His Mother!
And hail all you holy virtues
which through the grace and light of the Holy Spirit
are poured into the hearts of the faithful
so that from their faithless state
you may make them faithful to God.
These are just a few. There are many more which you can find on the internet or in a good book store. I hope you take a moment to learn a bit more about this great saint.
May God give you peace! (By the way, that is another tradition St. Francis gave us, asking us to always wish the peace of God to everyone.)
Love, Fr. Tom

1 comment:

  1. The Prayer before the Cross is also my favorite, and I rely on it often.

    May God bless you on this feast day! Peace and all good!