Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Tunic That Bears A Likeness Of The Cross


The tunic worn by St. Francis at the time of his death
"Francis designed for himself a tunic that bore a likeness to the cross, that by means of it he might beat off all temptations of the devil; he designed a very rough tunic so that it might crucify the flesh with all its vices and sins, he designed a very poor tunic, one that would not excite the covetousness of the world."

Saint Francis of Assis
Celano, First Life
Chapter IX


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Eremitical Way Of Life


An early Franciscan Skete

"For many change the place of contemplation into a place of idleness and change the eremitical way of life, which was devised for the perfecting of souls, into a cesspool of pleasure. The norm for such hermits of the present time is to live as each one pleases...Would that the hermits of our time would not fall away from the primitive beauty, the praise of the righteousness of which remains forever."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life


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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Real Presence in the Eucharist



The Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center talks about the Real Presence in the Eucharist; the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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Friday, December 23, 2011

No Honeyed Words Of Flattery Or Blandishment

Fra Volantino Verde
"Saint Francis wandered through the cities, villages, and hamlets, and began to preach with increasing perfection, not using learned words of human wisdom, but through the doctrine of virtue of the Holy Spirit most confidently proclaiming the kingdom of God. He was a genuine preacher confirmed by apostolic authority; therefore he spoke no honeyed words of flattery or blandishment; what he preached to others he had already put into practice himself and his teaching of the truth was full of assurance."
Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
Chapter XIII


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Live For The Benefit Of Our Fellow Men And Women


Spoleto, Italy

Brother Francis and his companions arrived at the Valley of Spoleto, still full of good dispositions, and there they fell to debating whether they should live among the people or seek refuge in solitude. Francis, who was a true servant of Christ, refused to trust in his own opinion or in the suggestions of his companions; instead, he sought to discover God's will by persevering prayer. Then, enlightened by a revelation from heaven, he realized he was sent by God to win for Christ the souls which the Devil was trying to snatch away. And so he chose to live for the benefit of his fellow men, rather than for himself alone, after the example of Him who was so good as to die for all men.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
Chapter IV


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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Canticum Sola (Canticle of the Creatures) in the Original Umbrian Dialect


The oldest written version of the Canticle of the Creatures in contained in ms 3...88 of the Municipal Library of Assisi (originally in the Sacro Convento of the Basilica of St. Francis) and dates from 1279 A.D.


Altissimu, onnipotente, bon Signore,
tue so' le laude, la gloria e l'honore et onne benedictione.
Ad te solo, Altissimo, se konfano,
et nullu homo ène dignu te mentovare.

Laudato sie, mi' Signore, cum tucte le tue creature,
spetialmente messor lo frate sole,
lo qual'è iorno, et allumini noi per lui.
Et ellu è bellu e radiante cum grande splendore:
de te, Altissimo, porta significatione.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sora luna e le stelle:
in celu l'ài formate clarite et pretiose et belle.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per frate vento
et per aere et nubilo et sereno et onne tempo,
per lo quale a le tue creature dài sustentamento.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sor'aqua,
la quale è multo utile et humile et pretiosa et casta.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per frate focu,
per lo quale ennallumini la nocte:
ed ello è bello et iocundo et robustoso et forte.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sora nostra matre terra,
la quale ne sustenta et governa,
et produce diversi fructi con coloriti flori et herba.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per quelli ke perdonano per lo tuo amore
et sostengo infirmitate et tribulatione.
Beati quelli ke 'l sosterrano in pace,
ka da te, Altissimo, sirano incoronati.

Laudato si', mi' Signore, per sora nostra morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo vivente pò skappare:
guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali;
beati quelli ke trovarà ne le tue sanctissime voluntati,
ka la morte secunda no 'l farrà male.

Laudate e benedicete mi' Signore et rengratiate
e serviateli cum grande humilitate.


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Monday, December 12, 2011

Having A Gereater Desire To Receive Shame And Insults


Because St. Francis and his companions had been called by God and chosen to bear the Cross of Christ in their hearts and in their actions and to preach it by their words, they appeared to be and they were crucified men, both in their clothing and their austere life and their deeds and their actions. Therefore, they had a greater desire to receive shame and insults for the love of Christ than the vain honors or respect or praise of the world. On the contrary, they rejoiced in being insulted, and they were made sad by being honored. And so they went through the world as pilgrims and strangers, taking with them nothing but Christ Crucified.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Chapter 5


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Sunday, December 11, 2011

What A Friend We Have In Jesus !

"If Jesus were to tell a parable today, He could easily use 'Black Friday' as a...n example and we would all understand His point. This past Thangsgiving Day people LEFT THEIR FAMILIES AT THE THANKSGIVING TABLE and armed with determination and, in some cases, pepper spray and knives, set out to get the material goods they wanted to make a 'Happy Holiday' for their families. Many of those same folks will probably LEAVE THEIR FAMILIES ON CHRISTMAS DAY in order to be the first in line to exchange gifts and get the 'after Christmas' bargains! We shouldn't be surprised if more and more stores choose to open on Christmas Day to offer this chance to get a 'head start' on these sales.

Jesus would tell us to have the same determination (minus the pepper spray and knives) to achieve OUR goals. The goal of Advent is to prepare for Christmas in a way that respects the real meaning of Christmas - the birth of the Prince of Peace.

May we be as determined as Black Friday shoppers to make sure that we are present for our Advent services. To arrive at Christmas without having made the spiritual preparation that the Church offers us would be worse than not getting our Christmas shopping done - FAR WORSE!"

Fr. Todd Riebe
Richmond Catholic Community


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Saturday, December 10, 2011

St. Francis Built The Very First Christmas Crib in Greccio, Italy


Photo of the actual cave in Greccio, Italy where
St. Francis of Assisi built the very first Christmas Creche
Pace e bene! Peace and all good!

May the peace and love and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you this Christmas and every day of your lives. We offer this little story about St. Francis at Greccio—from the Major Legend of St. Francis-- for your reflection and meditation. The tradition of the crèche (or crib) originates with St. Francis and is uniquely Franciscan contribution to the celebration of Christmas. Know that we, your Franciscan brothers, are keeping you in our prayers at this most sacred time as you continue to discern God’s will for you in your hearts and in your lives. Merry Christmas!

“It happened, three years prior to his death, that he (Francis) decided to celebrate at the town of Greccio the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus with the greatest possible solemnity, in order to arouse devotion. So that this would not be considered a type of novelty, he petitioned for and obtained permission from the Supreme Pontiff.

"He had a manger prepared, hay carried in and an ox and an ass led to the spot. The brethren are summoned, the people arrive, the forest amplifies with their cries, and that venerable night is rendered brilliant and solemn by a multitude of bright lights and by resonant and harmonious hymns of praise. The man of God stands before the manger, filled with piety, bathed in tears, and overcome with joy.

"A solemn Mass is celebrated over the manger, with Francis, a levite of Christ, chanting the holy Gospel. Then he preaches to the people standing around him about the birth of the poor King, whom, whenever he means to call him, he called in his tender love, the Babe from Bethlehem.

"A certain virtuous and truthful knight, Sir John of Greccio, who had abandoned worldly military activity out of love of Christ and had become an intimate friend of the man of God, claimed that he saw a beautiful little child asleep in that manger whom the blessed father Francis embraced in both of his arms and seemed to wake it from sleep.

"Not only does the holiness of the witness make credible the vision of the devout knight, but also the truth it expresses proves its validity and the subsequent miracles confirm it. For Francis's example, when considered by the world, is capable of arousing the hearts of those who are sluggish in the faith of Christ.

The hay from the crib was kept by the people and miraculously cured sick animals and drove away different kinds of pestilence. Thus God glorified his servant in every way and demonstrated the efficacy of his holy prayer by the evident signs of wonderful miracles.”

St. Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
Chapter XXX


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Friday, December 09, 2011

Advent Message from the Portiuncula Hermitage

Thursday, December 08, 2011

God Chose An Unborn Child To Announce The Coming Of His Son!


As soon as Mary received the announcement from the angel, she went in haste to her cousin Elizabeth, who was with child. And the unborn child, John the Baptist, rejoiced in Elizabeth's womb. How wonderful it was...Almighty God chose an unborn child to announce the coming of His Son!

This was the first Eucharist: the gift of God's Son establishing Mary as the first altar, the first tabernacle. Mary is the only one able to confirm in complete sincerity, "This is my body!"

Happy Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception!

Pace e Bene!



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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Franciscan Spirituality

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Forced To Have Arms


The brothers often asked the advice of the Bishop, who received Francis with kindness but said: "It seems to me that it is very hard and difficult to possess nothing in the world." To this blessed Francis replied: "My Lord, if we had any possessions we should also be forced to have arms to protect them, since possessions are a cause of disputes and strife, and in many ways we should be hindered from loving God and our neighbor."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 35


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