Francis of Assisi

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Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes.
Chinese Proverb
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Francis of Assisi by José de Ribera

Saint Francis of Assisi (c. 11821226-10-03) was an Italian religious leader who founded the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans. He is known as the patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment. Though baptized as Giovanni Bernardone he was commonly known as Francesco.

Sourced

A garden statue of Francis of Assisi with birds
St. Francis before the Sultan - the trial by fire (fresco attributed to Giotto)
  • Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.
    • The Counsels of the Holy Father St. Francis, Admonition 27


Canticle of the Sun

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility. Amen.

Unsourced

Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.



Attributed

St. Francis of Assisi in Sacro Speco, Subiaco, Italy
  • Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master,
    Grant that I may not so much seek
    To be consoled as to console,
    To be understood as to understand,
    To be loved, as to love;
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    It is in dying to self that we are born to Eternal Life.
    Amen.
  • He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
  • If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow man.
  • Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.

Misattributed

Another well known prayer, The Serenity Prayer is often also attributed to St. Francis, but the earliest known forms of it were those written by Reinhold Niebuhr.

External links

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