On October 4th each year, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Francis who died in 1226. It is through his exemplary life of Prayer, Simplicity, and Service to the Poor, that we choose to live the Gospel in his footsteps as Associates and Members of the Order of Franciscan Hermits.
How many of us will be remembered 800 years from now??? When history remembers certain people, it's for us to pay attention to their life merits (or lack thereof) and their story. As my friend, George would say, "He was one of the Good Guys."
Although Francis was a young man who was positioned in life to make great wealth off of the noble class through his family's business, he had a series of conversion experiences that challenged him (and all of us) to live the actual words of the Gospel in Matthew 19:21-24 which says...
“If you want to be perfect, GO, Sell ALL of your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come and follow Me.... for it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Hearing these words, Francis LITERALLY gave EVERYTHING away, including his clothes and birthright to his inheritance, in order to follow the Gospel. He didn't want to be like the "young rich man" in verse 22 who "went away in sorrow because he had great wealth."
Luke 12:48 says, "To whom much is given, much shall be required."
These words of the Gospel are hard for anyone to hear and live, no matter what point in history you live, especially in our modern times.
I think a remedy for this challenge to "GO, Sell All that you have" is Francis' and the Gospel's remedy... to Serve and Help the poor to our greatest degree. I think we remember St. Francis almost 800 years later, not because he gave everything away, but because he was able to fully show that, "It is in Giving that We Receive" and in doing so, he lived "Perfect Joy."
Speaking of Inheritances... In Matthew 25:34-40...
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
Francis made that passage his way of life... It is what Jesus asked us to do. It is our turn now.
The Order of Franciscan Hermits has much to celebrate this year... we were federally recognized as a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Religious Charitable Organization in the United States. We have grown to have Associates and Members in over 90 countries worldwide. We have Ministries in the Franciscan tradition of helping the poor and marginalized for the betterment of humanity. Domestic and International efforts support Ecumenical and Interfaith communications; peace and social justice; clean water and food security; environmental sustainability; health and human services; education; spiritual development and associated support groups. We support & promote programs aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Luke 12:48 says "To whom much is given, much shall be required."
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of our Mission and Ministries. You and your family will continue to be remembered in our daily prayers... please send your prayer intentions to: PrayerRequests@FranciscanHermits.org.
We also continue to invite you to join us in praying the rosary for WORLD PEACE by joining our Perpetual Rosary Association found at https://RosariesForPeace.com. It is free to join, and your intentions will be included in our daily prayers. Please share this post with your friends who pray the rosary, so we can all be United in this effort Our Lady has asked of us in the many places throughout the world she has appeared.
Please know you and your families are All in my thoughts and prayers each day... May we all be encouraged by the promises of the Gospel to bring us Everlasting Life.
PEACE and LOVE Always...
Br. Paul, OFH Founder and Guardian of the Order of Franciscan Hermits
In this way did the Lord give me, Brother Francis, the grace to begin doing penance: when I was in sin, it seemed too bitter for me to see lepers. And the Lord Himself led me among them and I showed mercy to them. And when I left them, what had seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body. And afterwards I delayed a little and left the world.
And the Lord gave me such faith in churches that I would pray with simplicity in this way and say: “We adore You, Lord Jesus Christ, in all Your churches throughout the whole world and we bless You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”
Afterwards the Lord gave me, and gives me still, such faith in priests who live according to the rite of the holy Roman Church because of their orders that, were they to persecute me, I would still want to have recourse to them. And if I had as much wisdom as Solomon and found priests of this world impoverished, I would not preach in their parishes against their will. And I desire to respect, love and honour them and all others as my lords. And I do not want to consider any sin in them because I discern the Son of God in them and they are my lords.
And I act in this way because, in this world, I see nothing materially of the most high Son of God except His most holy Body and Blood which they receive and they alone administer to others. I want to have these most holy mysteries honoured and venerated above all things and I want to reserve them in precious places. Wherever I find our Lord’s most holy name and written words in unbecoming places, I want to gather them up. And I beg that they be gathered up and placed in a becoming place. And we must honour all theologians and those who minister the most holy divine words, and respect them as those who minister to us spirit and life.
And after the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what I had to do, but the Most High Himself revealed to me that I should live according to the pattern of the Holy Gospel. And I had this written down simply and in a few words and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me. And those who came to receive life gave whatever they had to the poor and were content with one tunic, patched inside and out, with a cord and short trousers. We desired nothing more. We cleric brothers said the Office as other clerics did; the lay brothers said the Our Fathers. And we quite willingly remained in churches. And we were simple and subject to all.
And I worked with my hands, and I still desire to work; and I earnestly desire all brothers to give themselves to honest work. Let those who do not know how to work learn, not from desire to receive wages, but for example and to avoid idleness. And when we are not paid for our work, let us have recourse to the table of the Lord, begging alms from door to door. The Lord revealed a greeting to me that we would say: “May the Lord give you peace.”
Let the brothers be careful not to receive in any way churches or dwellings or anything else built for them unless they are according to the holy poverty we have promised in the Rule. As pilgrims and strangers, let them always be guests there.
I strictly command all the brothers through obedience, wherever they may be, not to dare to ask any letter from the Roman Curia, either personally or through an intermediary, whether for a church or another place or under the pretext of preaching or the persecution of their bodies. But, wherever they are not received, let them flee into another country to do penance with the blessing of God.
And I firmly wish to obey the General Minister of this fraternity and the other guardians whom it pleases him to give me. And I so wish to be a captive in his hands that I cannot go anywhere or do anything beyond obedience and his will, for he is my master.
And although I may be simple and infirm, I nevertheless want to have a cleric always with me who will celebrate the Office for me as it is prescribed in the Rule.
And let all the brothers be bound to obey their guardians and to recite the Office according to the Rule. And if any are found who do not recite the Office according to the Rule and want to change it in some way, or who are not Catholics, let all the brothers, wherever they may have found such a one, be bound through obedience to bring him before the custodian of that place nearest to where they found him. And the custodian is strictly bound by obedience to keep him securely day and night as a prisoner, so that he cannot be taken from his hands until he can personally deliver him into the hands of his minister. And the minister is bound by obedience to send him with such brothers who shall guard him as a prisoner until they deliver him to the Lord of Ostia, who is the Master, the Protector and the Corrector of this fraternity.
And the brothers may not say: “This is another rule.” Because this is a remembrance, admonition, exhortation, and my testament, which I, little brother Francis, make for you, my blessed brothers, that we may observe the Rule we have promised in a more Catholic way.
And let the General Minister and all the other ministers and custodians be bound through obedience not to add to or take away from these words. And let them always have this writing with them together with the Rule. And in all the chapters which they hold, when they read the Rule, let them also read these words. And I strictly command all my cleric and lay brothers, through obedience, not to place any gloss upon the Rule or upon these words saying: “Let them be understood in this way.” But as the Lord has given me to speak and write the Rule and these words simply and plainly, may you understand them simply and without gloss and observe them with a holy activity until the end.
And whoever observes these things, may he be blessed in heaven with the blessing of the Most High Father, and on earth with the blessing of His Beloved Son with the Most Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, and all the powers of heaven and with all the saints. And, as far as I can, I, little brother Francis, your servant, confirm for you, both within and without, this most holy blessing.
"The Franciscan Intellectual Tradition serves as an entry portal for people engaged in Franciscan studies or interested in learning more about our tradition. Making the foundational documents of our tradition – the writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi, as well as their early biographies - instantly accessible world-wide. CFIT is currently uploading all of the early Franciscan sources to our website: both the original Latin texts as well as their English translation found in the three volume series, Francis of Assisi: Early Documents (FA:ED), edited by Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap., Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., and William J Short, OFM, published between 1999-2001 and in Clare of Assisi: Early Documents (CA:ED), edited by Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap., and published in 2006."
Here's another inspirational video "St. Francis - The Evolution of a Saint" by our Brother Vincent Cole. Please subscribe to his YouTube channel for more of his beautiful work.