Thursday, October 04, 2012

St. Francis of Assisi

"St. Francis of Assisi Praying" by Joseph Légaré, Quebec  1825

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"It is first to be considered that the glorious St. Francis in all the acts of his life was conformable to Christ the Blessed.  And that even As Christ, at the beginning of his mission chose twelve Apostles who were to despise all worldly things and follow Him in poverty and in the other virtues, so St. Francis in the beginning chose for the foundation of his Order twelve companions who were possessed of naught save direst poverty.  And even as one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, being reproved  by God, went and hanged himself by the neck, so one of the twelve companions of St. Francis  whose name was Friar John della Cappella, became a runagate and at last hanged himself by the neck..  Now these things are a great warning to the elect, and matter for humility and fear when they consider that none is certain of persevering to the end in God's grace..."

Triptych of St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio

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..."The first companion of St. Francis was Friar Bernard of Assisi, that was converted after this manner:  St. Francis, while yet in the secular habit, albeit he had renounced the world, was wont to go about in meanest guise and so mortified by penance that by many the was held to be a fool, and was mocked and hunted as a madman and pelted with stones and filthy mire both by his kinsfolk and by strangers;  but he, even as one deaf and dumb, went his way enduring every insult and injury patiently.  Now Bernard of Assisi, who was one of the noblest and richest and wisest of that city, began to consider wisely concerning St. Francis and his exceeding contempt of this world and his long-suffering under injury; and that, albeit for two years he had been thus hated and despised by all men, yet did he ever seem more steadfast..."

"The Virgin and Child with St. Francis of Assisi" by Francesco Raibolini (Francia)
..."St. Francis, the most devout servant of the Crucified, had grown almost blind by the rigour of his penance and incessant weeping, ..."
Source:  The Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi

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