James By Saint Francis of Assisi | 2 April, 2021

Make us worthy Lord to serve our fellow men throughout the world, who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread and by our understanding love give peace and joy. Lord, make me a channel of thy peace. That where there is hatred I may bring love, That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness, That where there is discord, I may bring harmony, That where there is error I may bring truth, That where there is doubt I may bring faith, That where there is despair I may bring hope, That where there are shadows I may bring light, That where there is sadness I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted, To understand than to be understood, To love than to be loved. For it is by forgetting self that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven, it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life. Amen

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    Celebrated: 4. October


    Animals, Merchants, The environment

    St. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Francis' birth name was Giovanni. He was nicknamed 'Francis' because of his father's love of (and great deal of trade in) France. He was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, and he lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi. While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life. On a pilgrimage to Rome, Francis begged with the beggars at St. Peter's. The experience moved him to live in poverty. Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon amassed a following. It is said that, one day, while Francis was travelling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to "wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds". The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. The variety of birds are a metaphor for the nations of the world. His order was endorsed by the Pope in 1210. In 1219, he went to Egypt where crusaders were besieging Damietta, hoping to find martyrdom at the hands of the Muslims. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the order. Once his organization was endorsed by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene. In 1224, he received the stigmata, making him the first person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion. He died in 1226 while singing Psalm 141.
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