ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 4
Francis was born at Assisi in Umbria. Following the example of his father, at a young age, he became a merchant. But, he was stricken with a serious illness and, when he had recovered, began to devote himself to works of charity. When his father looked upon this as undignified, Francis renounced all his possessions that he might henceforth have greater reason to say: “Our Father, who art in heaven.”
“OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN”
When, however, he had heard the admonition from the Gospel regarding apostolic poverty, divesting himself of his shoes and retaining only one tunic, he gathered together twelve companions and founded the Order of Friars Minor.
After Pope Innocent III, divinely admonished, confirmed this order, it was spread marvellously through the work of Francis. Afterwards, he retired into the solitude of Mount Alverno and there, on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, from a Seraph displaying between his wings the figure of the Crucified, he received the sacred stigmata, the marks of the nails and spear appearing in his hands, feet and side.
HE RECEIVED THE SACRED STIGMATA
Two years later, becoming gravely ill, in the church of St Mary of the Angels where he had received the spirit of grace from God, after exhorting his brethren to poverty, patience and preservation of the faith of the Church, he most devoutly breathed forth his soul on the fourth of the Nones of October .
O God, who by the good works of blessed Francis enriched your Church by establishing a new religious family, grant us to imitate him by emulation of him, by looking upon the things of earth as naught, and ever to rejoice in sharing your heavenly gifts. Through our Lord…