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  • Saint Francis of Assisi

    by Joseph P. Martino; Robert Romano

    The founder of the Franciscan Order and one of the great saints of the Roman Catholic church,..... who gladly grants to the faithful, favors and graces from high atop his heavenly perch. 

    Born to Pietro di Bernadone in Assisi, Umbria Italy in 1181 or 1182. A rebellious youth of excellent education, fluent in several languages, possessed with a quick wit and known for his showy dress and demeanor..... and a mind that could not be any keener.

    A lover of the frolicking life, Francis life would  soon change. For, in 1204 Francis became seriously ill,.... and the road  leading to the lap of luxury, would now become a steep hill.

    In 1204 Francis became ill on his way to Spoleto, having a rather strange vision that made him feel uneasy,..... he would soon return to his home in Assisi.

    During a mystical experience while praying before an ancient crucifix in the chapel of San Damiano, Francis heard a voice,...startled, Francis may have thought  and expected the very worse. "Francis go and repair my house" would be repeated three times..... Jesus call to Francis to renounce his sinful ways at this time.

    Laying aside all his garments, Francis would now  "cloth himself in Christ's word"   devoting himself to a life of poverty, living as a beggar and following all of what Jesus said and did. Devoted to prayer and a life of active preaching,...... for Francis his words and works, till this very day, are worldwide. and far reaching.

    In 1209 Pope Innocent III gave Francis permission to found a new order...... Francis accepted willingly and faithfully proceeding to fulfill this tall order. in 1224 "on Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross" Francis received  "stigmata" suffering from three "stigmata" and eye disease,...... but was able to fulfill and accomplish all his lofty goals while  suffering pain, if not with ease......

    Perhaps in 1224 Francis wrote in his native Umbrian "Canticles of the Sun" or "Canticles of Brother Sun"  recognizing world of God and world of nature. Francis adored all creatures and referred to them as "sisters  and brothers" as equals not as subjects to be dominated. so, if you are in violation of Gods laws of nature and ecology,...... bend your knees and pray to god, offering him your sincerest  and heartfelt apology..... half blind and seriously ill, Francis died in 1226 singing psalm 141,..... before called to his heavenly home, after all his godly work on earth, was done.

    The famous sculptured image of Saint Francis standing on a birdbath can be witnessed on church grounds all over the world. A symbol of his devotion and love of animals and birds,....his sculptured image speaks more eloquently than any playwright or poets words.

    In 1979 Pope John Paul II proclaimed Saint Francis of Assisi patron saint of ecology. Saint Francis feast day is observed on October 4th, honor of this wondrous saint of the cloth.

    Poems by Joseph P. Martino


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