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Francis of Assisi

Brother Francis

Franciscan spirituality cannot be expressed separate from the person of Francis Bernadoni, better known throughout the world as St. Francis of Assisi.

Eight hundred years have passed since Francis of Assisi stood on his head so he could see a world that was turned upside down.  Such is G.K. Chesterson's explanation of why some called him a fool and others called him a saint.

In the his youth Franics felt he had the world at his feet. His father was a wealthy merchant who indulged his son's taste for the "good life" and his desire for some measure of fame.

Failure in war, imprisonment, humiliation, illness shocked Francis into other realities.

He looked again at the world and he saw others who, unlike him, had no prospect of a good life: they were wretched and despised.

And ever so slowly he kept turning around and around until finally he saw what no one had ever taught him to see - they were his brothers and sisters and they carried within themselves the image of a crucified God.

Francis fell in love with a God of such humility and total self-emptying. The great and glorious God who had created so much beauty and wonder was also the one who entered our squalor and pain to heal and to make whole, to repair the hurt we inflict upon each other and upon God's wondrous creation. 
He fell in love with Jesus Christ.

And today, in his simplicity and originality, Francis keeps reminding numerous people to take another look at our world and how we are living in it.

He gives them the Gospel and says:
"Follow in your own way and in your own heart
the teaching and the footprints of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

He invites them to share with him his love affair with Jesus. Thomas Celano, his first biographer, wrote: "He was always occupied with Jesus. Jesus he bore in his heart, Jesus in his mouth, Jesus in his ears, Jesus in his eyes, Jesus in his hands. Indeed, many times, as he went along the way meditating and singing of Jesus, he would forget his journey and invite all the elements to praise Jesus."

He tells those who would follow Jesus to be unpretentious and stand with the poor and the marginalised in their struggle for justice.

He continues to teach the costly art of peace and reconciliation which refuses to name any as enemy because we are all brothers and sisters in the one great family of an all-loving and forgiving God.

And he rejoices with all who have opened themselves to the bountiful goodness and beauty of the universe giving their energies to fostering its life and sustainability.

Francis tells us to bend low and stand tall so as to embrace the whole of creation in a canticle of praise and gratitude for the extraordinary gifts of life and love.

As Franciscan Missionaries of Mary we rejoice in our membership in the Franciscan Family.

The Franciscan spirit of simplicity and joy helps us to build relationships, heal hurting hearts, and transform the mundane chores of daily life into a song of unity and praise.

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Canticle of the Creatures

Brother Sun


Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Sister Moon

Praised be You, my Lord,
through Sister Moon and the stars:
in the heavens you have made them
bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through Brothers Wind and Air,
and fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

Sister Water

Praised be You my Lord
through Sister Water
so useful, humble, precious and pure

Praised be You my Lord
through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Mother Earth

Praised be You my Lord
through our Sister, Mother Earth
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praised be You my Lord
through those who grant pardon for love of You
and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord
through Sister Death, from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

Blessed are they she finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.

St Francis of Assisi

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Be messengers of peace - Helene de Chappotin