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,
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:
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.