October 4 ~ St. Francis of Assisi, confessor
GREATER DOUBLE / WHITE
Born at Assisi, Italy, and Christened John (Giovanni) di Bernadone, Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was a serviceman in his youth. His vocation -- that of counteracting the growing spirit of riches infecting Europe -- made itself known almost simultaneously with the young Spanish priest Dominic's call to combat the doctrinal ignorance and heretical evil of that day. Each in his own way, they revolutionized the Christian life with the creation of their two orders of mendicant friars. In 1207 Francis founded the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans), a group of laymen dedicated to poverty of life and Christlike charity toward all men. Two years later, with the blessing of Pope Innocent III, he and his band set out to preach. During a crusade he penetrated to the camp of the Egyptian sultan. Following his return from the Holy land, Francis relinquished the rule of his by now immensely expanded order, and received the Stigmata in its stead. His love for poverty, for the cross, and for all creation, brought new vitality and holiness to the whole Church.
We celebrated the feast day of St. Francis in simple ways.
The littles tended to gardening their vegetables with dad. They cared for their ivy topiaries with mom.
The littles painted a coloring page.
We watched a favorite, Clare and Francis.
We read two books on St. Francis of Assisi. The Song of Francis was given to Papi from his Nina (Godmother). This is Assisi was given to Sweetie from Sparkles’ Nina. She purchased the book in Assisi! It is a cute and informative book that we all enjoyed very much. It takes the reader on a journey through Assisi. It was a pilgrimage in a book.
For dinner, we had left overs. Not very creative, I know, but we figured it was simple enough for St. Francis. After all, he is a saint who at times ate with the pigs.
We used the rotisserie chicken that Rose made us late last week. The little ones eagerly went along with the idea and Rose is pious enough not to question mom. I even offered to allow the children to eat outside in the dirt as St. Francis and his followers at with the pigs. Needless to say, they didn’t go along with that one.
Rose made pumpkin bread (with this kit) for dessert. She said that it was “natural” enough to fit in with the feast of St. Francis. She tried to rally the little girls to help prep the kitchen. By the 5th attempt, I told her to work without them and that they will be certain to get their portion share – NOTHING.
So the time came when the bread was done. It smelled yummy as it sat on the counter warm and ready to be eaten. The little ones came running into the living room, “can we have some bread?” I replied, “you did not clean when asked, you did not prep when asked,……” It was straight from the Little Red Hen. Of course, they immediately offered to give a hand, to which dad informed them that it was too late. Instead, the girls prepared two loafs to take to the neighbors. They JOYfully delivered the bread.
St. Francis of Assisi, Ora pro nobis.
Saint Francis’ Prayer Before the Crucifix
Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me
true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out
Your holy and true command. Amen.
Lord, make me a channel of your peace, that
where there is hatred, I may bring love;
where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
where there is error, I may bring truth;
where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
where there is despair, I may bring hope;
where there are shadows, I may bring light;
where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather
to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand than to be understood;
to love than to be loved;
for it is by forgetting self that one finds;
it is by forgiving that one is forgiven;
it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.
(ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI)