Friday, October 4, 2013

The Benedictine St. Francis

Today is the day the Church celebrates St. Francis of Assisi.  I admit that sometimes when I think about St. Francis, the image that crosses my mind is one of a medieval Dr. Doolittle, wandering around the countryside and taking care of the animals.  Based on this icon, I can tell that I am not the only who thinks of that image of St. Francis:

Therefore, I was intrigued by this comment in a review of a new biography of St. Francis:

"Francis cared about the Eucharist, the Daily Office, and poverty much more than he had anything to do with animals or nature. Francis was, contrary to the popular picture of him, a very ecclesial person in both his commitments and in his preoccupations."

Based on that description, St. Francis sounds more like St. Benedict than Dr. Doolittle.

"Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, your servant Francis of Assisi sought to reflect the image of Christ through a life of poverty and humility: Grant your people grace to imitate his joyful love, renounce gladly the vanities of the world, and delight in your whole creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."

(From the "New Book of Festivals and Commemorations" by Philip Pfatteicher).

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