Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels

~~Witnesses of Faith pray for us ! ~~

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blessed Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi ( October 4 )

Today we're celebrating and commemorating Saint Francis of Assisi , who inspires us by his love of God and Peace , by his kinship with all creatures.
Francis’s prayers and words are often in the form of direct "conversation" with God, a conversation that includes all creation. His Canticle of the Creatures proclaims: "Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, all praise, glory, honor and blessing are yours...All praise to you, Oh Lord, for Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” all these brother and sister creatures. His themes spring from Sacred Scripture, like the Psalms ("The orb of the Sun, resplendent at its rising; what a wonderful work of the Most High!") and St. Matthew’s Gospel ("Look at the birds in the sky...Learn from the way the wild flowers grow").
Francis had a vivid sense of the sacramentality of God's Creation.
All things, whether living or inanimate, reflected their Creator's love and were thus due reverence and wonder. In this spirit he composed his famous "Canticle of Creation," singing the praises of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and even Sister Death.
Altogether his life and his relationship with the world - including animals, the elements, the poor and sick, as well as princes and prelates, women as well as men, represented the breakthrough of a new model of human and cosmic community.
Ultimately Francis attempted no more than to live out the teachings of Christ and the spirit of the gospel. His identification with Christ was so intense that in 1224, while praying in his hermitage, he received the "stigmata," the physical marks of Christ's passion, on his hands and feet. His last years were marked at once by excruciating physical suffering and spiritual happiness. "Welcome Sister Death!" he exclaimed at last. At his request he was laid on the bare ground in his old habit. To the friars gathered around him he gave each his blessing in turn: "I have done my part," he said. "May Christ teach you to do yours." So he died on October 3, 1226. His feast we're celebrating today October 4.

( quoting text from Robert Ellsberg's book All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses From Our Time. )

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