Saturday, October 09, 2010

On the Brown Scapular - Protection Against the Devil

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Blessed Sacrament Church, Paterson, NJ

Photo by Esther G.
You will understand why the Devil works against those who promote the Scapular when you hear the story of Ven. Francis Ypes. One day his Scapular fell off. As he replaced it, the devil howled, “Take off the habit which snatches so many souls from us!” Then and there Francis made the devil admit that there are three things which the demons are most afraid of:

the Holy Name of Jesus,
the Holy Name of Mary, and
the Holy Scapular of Carmel.

To that list we could add the Holy Rosary.
From Brown Scapular Miracles

Thanks Sue C.

What To Do When Your Marriage is in Trouble

One of the finest discussions of this question is given by Germain Grisez in his book, Living a Christian Life, Vol. 2 of his The Way of the Lord Jesus, pp. 721-737. In Love and Responsibility (1960) Karol Wojtyla has some helpful things to say, particularly in the final chapter on sexology. I will first summarize material from Grisez, then from Wojtyla, and finally offer some practical suggestions.
Read it all here

Thanks to Sue Cifelli for sharing.

Saint Padre Pio - On Sin

Someone complained to Padre Pio of being excessively distressed by the sins he had committed. Padre Pio replied to him:

“That which you feel is pride; it is the demon which inspires you with this sentiment, it is not true sorrow.”

The penitent replied: “Father, how can you then distinguish what comes from the heart and is inspired by Our Lord, and that which instead is inspired by the devil?” “You will distinguish it,” replied the holy priest, “always by this: The spirit of God is a spirit of peace, and also in the case of grave sin, it makes us feel a tranquil sorrow, humble, confident, and this is due precisely to His mercy.

The spirit of the demon, on the contrary, excites, exasperates, and makes us in our sorrow feel something like anger against ourselves, whereas our first charity must be to ourselves, and so if certain thoughts agitate you, this agitation never comes from God, who gives you tranquility, being the Spirit of Peace. Such agitation comes from the devil.”
You can read more about a day in the life of Padre Pio at A Christian Pilgrimage

Thanks to Sue Cifelli for sharing.

Confessions by appointment

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, stated recently that 'one of the most tragic failings that the Church suffered in the second half of the 20th century was to have neglected the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Penance … amongst priests this has caused tremendous loss of spiritual profile'. He goes on to say that when the priest is no longer a confessor he becomes a social worker of a religious kind. From this remark, I was left wondering about parish noticeboards and Parish Bulletin which advertise: 'Confessions – by appointment'. It is becoming rare to see the traditional notice: 'Confessions 4.00pm – 6.00pm Saturday afternoon before the Vigil Mass.' Fifteen and twenty minute slots appear to suffice...
Read the rest here.

Thanks to Sue Cifelli for sharing.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Catholic Education and Our Children

Satan Exists, and Christ Defeated Him

Demons, Satanism and other related phenomena are quite topical today, and they disturb a great part of our society.

Our technological and industrialized world is filled with magicians, wizards, occultism, spiritualism, fortune tellers, spell trafficking, amulets, as well as very real Satanic sects. Chased away from the door, the devil has come in through the window. Chased away by the faith, he has returned by way of superstition.

The episode of Jesus' temptations in the desert that is read on the First Sunday of Lent helps us to have some clarity on this subject. First of all, do demons exist? That is, does the word "demon" truly indicate some personal being with intelligence and will, or is it simply a symbol, a manner of speaking that refers to the sum of the world's moral evil, the collective unconscious, collective alienation, etc.?

Many intellectuals do not believe in demons in the first sense. But it must be noted that many great writers, such as Goethe and Dostoyevsky, took Satan's existence very seriously. Baudelaire, who was certainly no angel, said that "the demon's greatest trick is to make people believe that he does not exist."

Read the rest of the article by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. here.

H/T today's meditation of the day, The Magnificat, October 2010.

Life on the Rock - American Papist - Fr. Mark and Doug with Thomas Peter...

Catholic bloggers will find this show VERY interesting :-)

EWTN Family Prayer - For Terrorists

EWTN Family Prayer - For Those Who Govern Us

Thursday, October 07, 2010

EWTN Live - Pope Pius XII - Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. with Sr. Margherita Marchione

Sister Margherita is a Filippini Sister and is from New Jersey. I hope I am able to meet her in person one day. I did not know how funny and feisty she was! My mom who's parish has one of the Filippini Sister's convent, first introduced me to her cause. She has been one of my heroes for a long time because of her defense of Pope Pius XII.

This was a great program!

If you are ever in North Jersey, be sure to visit the Filippini Sister's Mother House in Morristown...the beautiful Villa Walsh.

Christian Humility Calls us to Acts of Self-Humiliation

"...He whose soul has become a seat of consummate humility is not only able to confess his wrongs with ease, to submit himself or to bear an offense with resignation; he actually elects to be the last. He yearns for the practice of obedience; he is glad to suffer slights and is avid for contempt and rebuke. It is here that we reach the mysterious innermost core of Christian humility..."

- Humility - Wellspring of Virtue by Dietrich von Hildrebrand. Available through Sophia Press.

Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

"It could be said that each mystery of the Rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man. "Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you" (Ps. 55:23). To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother.

The rosary does indeed 'mark the rhythm of human life, bringing it into harmony with the 'rhythm' of God's own life, in the joyful communion of the Holy Trinity, our life's destiny and deepest longing.

Through the rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer." - Venerable John Paul II.

- from October 2010 The Magnificat

Our Lady of Victories
Picture source


by G.K.Chesterton

White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Picture source

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain--hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.
Pope Pius V's Vision of the Victory at Lepanto
by Lazzaro Baldi

Picture source

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees;
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

Pope Pius V Credits Our Lady of the Rosary with the Victory at the Battle of Lepanto
by Grazio Cossali

Picture source
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,--
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces--four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still--hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

Our Lady of the Rosary
St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,--
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
    Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

Madonna of the Rosary

King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed--
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade. 
Our Lady of Victories

Picture source

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plum├Ęd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign--
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty. 
Our Lady of Victories
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free! 
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

Picture source

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

Poetry source

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

EWTN Family Prayer - For Women Considering Abortion

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary - O Queen of Peace

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"O Queen of Peace, it is you who have placed the Rosary in our hands. It is you who bid us to recite it daily. By the power of the Family Rosary, we beseech you to obtain peace for us - peace within our hearts, our homes, our country and throughout the world. Through the daily recitation of the family Rosary we beg you to keep sin from our souls, enmities from our hearts and war from our shores. By the graces received from the devotion of the Family Rosary we pray to be made helpful to one another in following the paths of virtue so that we may be found worthy to be called children of your family, children of your home. Amen." - Cardinal Spellman

The Prayer Book, Catholic Press

Modesty: The Prudence of Chastity

"Modesty is the prudence of chastity.  Ladies, be modest in your dress, in your words, in your behavior if you want to help men acquire and preserve the virtue of purity.  You can be an angel or a devil to a man.  He needs your help to stay in God's grace.  It is very difficult for  him to do this on his own power.  Some day you will be held accountable for what has been expected of you.  If you want the Lord's blessing, learn to be modest.  Men do understand modesty.

- Father Angelus Shaughnessy, O.F.M. Cap. - Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers, Summer 2010 Newsletter

Resign Yourself to God's Will in Sufferings

"Love of the Cross makes us undertake voluntary afflictions, such as fasting, and makes us renounce pleasures, honors, and riches. The love found in such exercises is completely agreeable to the beloved. It is still more so when we patiently, gently and contentedly accept pains, torments, and tribulations in consideration of God's Will, which sends them to us. Love reaches its most exalted state when we accept afflictions not and patiently, but even cherish, like, and embrace them because of that divine good pleasure from which they come..." - St. Francis de Sales

Finding God's Will for You available at Sophia Press.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Our Lady of the Rosary - O Queen of Homes

"O Queen of Homes by the power of the Rosary we beseech you to embrace all the members of our family in the love of your Immaculate Heart.  May you abide with us and we with you, praying to you while you pray for us. May you preside in our homes as once you did at Nazareth with Jesus and Joseph, filling them with the holiness of your presence and inspiration...." - Cardinal Spellman

The Prayer Book, Catholic Press

Prayer to Saint Faustina

Saint Faustina,
you told us that your mission would
continue after your death, and that you
would not forget us. (Diary, 281, 1582)
Our Lord also granted you a
great privilege, telling you to
"distribute graces as you will,
to whom you will,
and when you will". (Diary 31)
Relying on this, I ask your
intercession for the
graces I need, especially
(Pause to mention your own special intentions)
Help me, above all,
to trust in Jesus as you did,
and thus to glorify His mercy
every moment of my life. Amen

Marians of the Immaculate Conception
Association of Marian Helpers
Stockbridge, MA 01263

Feast of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, CSsR

As a Confessor:

"He was a much sought after confessor.  Many eyewitnesses testified that he always had a long line of penitents."

"I chose Father Seelos as a confessor, for I, as well as others, looked upon him as a living saint. His confessional at the entrance of the church was closely besieged on all sides. I had to wait about two hours until my turn came." - Brother Neithart

"I habitually went to confession to him...He was a very good confessor, was kind towards sinners, and he had a power that others did not possess." - Valentine Winheim

"I found Father Seelos patient, affable and full of charity. I never left the confessional without consolation and I desired to go to confession to him more than to anyone else. I felt he could read my heart. Sometimes he chided me but his chiding did not depress me but strengthened and consoled me." - Joseph Herzog, a penitent from Baltimore

On Blessed Seelos' Sanctity and Powers of Healing:

  "The parishioners dearly loved him and all were full of praise for him.  He seemed to celebrate Mass with greater devotion than others ordinarily manifested.  As a confessor I found him patient, affable and full of charity and I wanted to go to him to confession more than to others..."

..."Seelos was grave and austere as becomes a priest. Small talk was foreign to him, and no one ever spoke of foolish things to him. He was nevertheless more affable and likable than any other priest I knew. He was always happy, and the spirit of Christ seemed to rule and govern his life." - Joseph Herzog

"I heard everybody speaking of him as a very holy man." - Therese Eckstein, later a Sister of Charity.

Father Seelos healed the husband of a devout Catholic woman. The husband was non-Catholic and ridiculed his wife's religion. The husband had a "suppurating ulcer" on his face. Father Seelos placed his hands on the man's face and prayed. The ulcer disappeared. The man not only stopped ridiculing the Catholic Church but later converted.

Father Seelos also healed an 11 year old girl from convulsions when no one else could help her.

"True happiness consists only in our conformity with our Savior - now to suffer with Him in patience, meekness and perseverance unto death - in order to be glorified with him in true life, true happiness and everlasting joy." - Father Seelos
First Class Relic of Bl. Seelos
Photo Source: Gefroh Family

On Father Seelos Approaching Death:

..."If God demands the sacrifice of my life, willingly will I make it. The Will of God and my own soul are dearer to me than all the souls in the world." - Father Francis X. Seelos

After his death, many miracles have been attributed to him, according to Bob and Penny Lord in the episode of Bl. Seelos on Super Saints (which airs on EWTN. It seems that after Mother Angelica suffered a severe stroke in 2001, prayers for Blessed Seelos' intercession were offered. After Mother came out of surgery, the doctor declared that one person had survived that kind of brain surgery and that person was Mother Angelica!

On our Prayers for Our Pets blog, Blessed Seelos is one of our patron saints. You can see why after you read the following:

One night, our chihuahua puppy came down with a bad eye problem. The lower lid of his right eye was swollen and hanging down, appearing like a large red gel sac. We immediately took him to the pet emergency clinic.

The vet did not give a very good prognosis: the eye could be lost. We prayed prayed to Fr. Seelos. His eye was saved, but he would have to take steroids & eyedrops to bring the swelling down. Having had bad reactions to medicines in the past, we begged Fr. Seelos to cure his eye by morning. The next morning his eye was completely normal. When the clinic called the next day for a check up, they were astounded that his eye was normal.

They took Fr. Seelos’ name, and said that they would start recommending the sick pets to his care. While at the pet emergency clinic, I was approached by a lady, distraught at the condition of her cat who was dying of kidney failure. She asked me to pray that he would be cured, while her husband was trying to get her to accept the fact that their pet would have to be put down. I called a friend of mine,
and had her post the request in the guestbook. Twenty minutes later the vet called the woman in, who shortly came back out crying, “It’s a miracle, he’s o.k.” Thanks to Fr. Seelos, there was no more sign of kidney failure.
Sr. Mary Michael, CMSS
Spokane Valley, Washington

Quotes Source: Cheerful Ascetic: The Life of Francis Xavier Seelos, C.SS.R. by Mihael J. Curley, C.Ss.R.

Feast of St. Faustina

Following two photos source: Gefroh Family

"How great should each one's love for the Church be!  As a good child prays for the mother it loves, so also should every Christian soul pray for the Church, its Mother..." #551

"...I heard this voice in my soul:  Do not fear anything; nothing will happen to you against My will..." #541

Sister Faustina Kowalska and family

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"I accept joy or suffering, praise or humiliation with the same disposition.  I remember that one and the other are passing.  What does it matter to me what people say about me?  I have long ago given up everything that concerns my person. My name is host- or sacrifice, not in words but in deeds, in the emptying of myself and in becoming like You on the Cross, O good Jesus, my Master!  #485

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"In the midst of trials I will try to see the loving hand of God.  Nothing is as constant as suffering - it always faithfully keeps the soul company.  O Jesus, I will let no one surpass me in loving You! #227

Room in Kowalska Home where Sister Faustina was born.
"O Divine Will, You are my nourishment.  You are my delight.  Hasten, O Lord, the Feast of Mercy that souls may recognize the fountain of Your goodness." #1003

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"The quintessence of love is sacrifice and suffering.  Truth wears a crown of thorns.  Prayer involves the intellect, the will, and the emotions." #1103

From Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Sister M. Faustina Kowalska.

Monday, October 04, 2010

To the Queen of the Holy Rosary

Queen of the most holy Rosary, in these time of such brazen impiety, manifest thy power with the signs of thine ancient victories, and from thy throne, whence thou dost dispense pardon and graces, mercifully regard the Church of thy Son, His Vicar on earth, and every order of clergy and laity, who are sore oppressed in the mighty conflict. Do thou, who art the powerful vanquisher of all heresies, hasten the hour of mercy, even though the hour of God's justice is every day provoked by the countless sins of men. For me who arm the least of men, kneeling before thee in supplication, do thou obtain the grace I need to live righteously upon earth and to reign among the just in heaven, the while in company with all faithful Christians throughout the world, I salute thee and acclaim thee as Queen of the most holy Rosary.

Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.

- The Prayer Book, Catholic Press

New Orleans Archbishop Aymond: Our pets teach us to love as our Creator loves

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4)always reminds us about the emotional value of our pets. Is there any theology involved? St. Francis reminds us that animals are of God’s creation. They don’t have a soul or a spirit as we do, but they are of God’s creation. That’s why Francis talks about Brother Sun and Sister Moon. He found the wisdom and the creativity of God in all creatures. He believed that as we get to know God’s creative work and become friends with and close to God’s creative work, we also come to know the Creator. God can speak to us in many different ways, even through the simplicity and the dependency of an animal, so we ask God to bless them. Whatever the pet is – a dog, cat, bird, fish or even a snake – it gives us an opportunity to see God’s creation, to think beyond ourselves.

It’s kind of amazing that pets can teach us to be more sensitive to human beings. In their great need, they show us how to be attentive to others. For the most part, they offer us unconditional love and presence.

The entire article can be found:

continuation of article, Page 13
Thanks Mary Jane for sharing!

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

 "If thou wilt be perfect go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor and follow Me...."Take nothing for your journey, neither staves nor scrip, neither shoes nor money."...If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me."  Then said St. Francis to Bernard, "Behold the counsel that Christ giveth us.  Go, therefore, do faithfully what thou has heard, and blessed the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath deigned to reveal to us the life evangelical." - from the Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi Chapter Two:  Of Friar Bernard Quintavalle, the First Companion of St. Francis, and How He Came to Forsake the World to Follow Him.  And Likewise How Silvester Forsook the World.
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Francis was very hurt that Brother Bernard had not answered his calls.   In fact, Brother Bernard was so engrossed in prayer, he did not hear Francis calling him three times.  Francis then went off by himself.  He proceeded to prostrated himself in prayer asking God to reveal to him why Brother Bernard had ignored his calls.  God said to Francis:   

"O poor little one, wherefore art thou troubled?  Ought a man to forsake God for His creature?  When thou didst call, Friar Bernard was united with Me, and therefore could neither come to thee nor answer thee. Marvel thou not if he could not respond, for he was so lifted out of himself that of thy words he heard none..."   Francis to Brother Bernard:  "I command thee by holy obedience that, in order to punish the arrogance and rashness of my heart, though shalt now, even as I lay me supine on the ground, set one foot on my neck and the other on my moth and so pass thrice from one side to the other, reviling and crying shame on me; and especially shalt thou say, "Lie there, churl, son of Peter Bernadone! whence cometh such pride to thee, though that art so vile a creature?"... - Chapter Three: How St. Francis, by Reason of an Evil Thought he Had Cherished Against Friar Bernard, Commanded the said Friar that he Should Treat on his Neck and Mouth. 
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"O good youth, prithee give them to me, lest birds so gentle, that chaste, humble, and faithful souls are compared to them in the scriptures, fall into the hands of cruel men who would kill them."..."O my little sisters, ye simple doves, innocent and chaste, wherefore suffer yourselves to be caught?  Now will I rescue you from death, and make nests for you, that ye may be fruitful and multiply, according to the commandments of our Creator."  - from Chapter Twenty-two: How St. Francis Tamed the Wild Turtle Doves, and Took into the Friary the Youth Who had Snared them but Had Given them Over.

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..."Come hither friar wolf; I command thee in the name of Christ that thou do hurt neither to me nor to any man."... - from Chapter Twenty-one: Of The Most Holy Miracle that St. Francis Wrought When He Converted the Fierce Wolf of Gubbio.

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Painter - Gerrit van Honthorst

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Painter Annibale Carracci

St. Francis in Ecstasy by Carravacchio

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Death of St. Francis by Jos├ęSantiago Garnelo y Alda
...for when St. Francis came to die, after the manner of the holy patriarch Jacob, with his devout children standing around him, all sorrowing and weeping at the departure of so loving a father, he asked, "Where is my first-born?  Come nigh to me, my son, that my soul may bless thee ere I die."  Then Friar Bernard said secretly to Friar Elias, that was vicar of the Order, "Father, go to the right hand of the saint that he may bless thee."  And Friar Elias drew nigh to his right hand, and St. Francis, that had lost his sight through excess of weeping, placed his right hand on Friar Elias' head, and said to Friar Bernard, "God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ bless thee with all spiritual and celestial blessings.  Thou are the first born, chosen in this holy Order to give evangelical example, and to follow Christ in evangelical poverty, for not only gavest thou thine own substance and didst distribute it wholly and freely to the poor for love of Christ, but though didst offer thyself as to God in this Order, a sacrifice of sweetness.  Blessed be thou therefore by our Lord Jesus Christ and by me, poor little in, His servant, with blessings everlasting, walking and standing, watching and sleeping, living and dying.  Let him that blesseth thee be filled with blessings, and he who curseth thee go not unpunished.  Be thou lord over thy brethren and let all the friars obey thy commands, whosoever thou wilt, let him be received into this Order; let no friar have lordship over thee, and be it lawful to thee to go and to abide wheresoever it may please thee."  - Chapter Six: How St. Francis Blessed the Holy Friar Bernard and Appointed him to be his Vicar on Earth When that he should Pass from this Life. 

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Excerpts from the Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi, The Peter Pauper Press, Mount Vernon.