Peace! Perhaps you are searching for something challenging to do with your life. There are many role models out there today but do they have what we need to give us that peace and joy, peace and joy that the world cannot give? The Founder of the Franciscan Order, Francis of Assisi, was a young man who had it all but in his search for peace and joy he found Jesus, and so living the Gospel, the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ, this became his way of life.
In doing this Francis became a real ‘success story’. This extract from a book ‘Francis of Assisi and the Consecrated Life’ by Aloysius Kattady, TOR gives us some indication of the impact of this man on the world:
“We often come across the rags-to-riches success stories of people from various walks of life. But the story of Francis of Assisi is an entirely different genre, one that speaks of his life from riches to rags. During the past eight hundred years, no one seems to have wielded as much influence on society as St Francis did, cutting across georgaphical, ethnic, religious and social lines. Poet and mystic, religious leader and social reformer, Francis of Assisi has a unique charm on everyone and everywhere. He lived only 44 years, but for eight centuries the world has been influenced tremendously by his exemplary life. The vast number of his admirers includes Soviet premier Lenin, who was an atheist.
In 1916, Pope Benedict XV proclaimed him Patron of Catholic Action. In 1939, Pope Pius XII declared him the Principal Patron of Italy. October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis was promulgated in 1958 as a national holiday in Italy. It is also observed everywhere as World Brotherhood Day.In 1979, Pope John Paul II named St. Francis Patron Saint of Ecology. Two World Conferences on Peace were held under the leadership of Pope John Paul II in Assisi in 1986 and 2001. The Pope spoke of St. Francis as the Man of Peace and his birth place, Assisi, as the City of Peace. The Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis comes through as one of the most popular prayers in every language and was recited daily by Mahatma Gandhi and Blessed Mother Teresa.
Francis continues to challenge all of his followers. I challenge you to think about this was of life. If you want to get to know more about St. Francis or the Franciscan Way of Life please contact me at: [email protected]
Wishing you every blessing as you continue to discern your vocation in life.