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Reflections: St. Francis Section

St. Francis of Assisi

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St. Francis of Assisi & Related

Animals / Creation

All Should Imitate St. Francis

Assisi

Biographical Information

Epitaph of St. Francis of Assisi

From the Bull of Canonization of St. Francis of Assisi

The 'Motto' of St. Francis of Assisi

On St. Francis of Assisi

On the Writings / Sayings of St. Francis of Assisi

The Person of St. Francis of Assisi

Praise of St. Francis of Assisi

Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi [SF]

Salutation of St. Francis of Assisi

The 'Seraphic Blessing' (St. Francis' Blessing to Brother Leo)

St. Francis &: Animals / Creation | Humility | Mortification | Obedience to the Pope | Poverty | Prayer | Suffering | The Blessed Virgin | The Cross | The Gloria Patri 

St. Francis' Death

St. Francis Has Changed the World

St. Francis is a Faithful Image of Jesus

St. Francis of Assisi: Quotations / Teachings / Sayings

St. Francis of Assisi on: Almsgiving / Generosity | Animals / Creatures | Brother Bernard | Brothers Who Have Strayed From the Catholic Faith | Death | Envy | Idleness | Love of One's Enemies | Loving God | Melancholy | Mortification | Pain | Penance / Confession | Poverty | Pride / Humility | Priests / The Priesthood | Purity | Sin / Repentance | Suffering / Trials / Infirmities | The Catholic Church | The Gloria Patri | The Holy Eucharist | The Poor in Spirit | Those Who Don't Observe the Rule | True Joy | What a Man Really Is | Other Reflections of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi to the Chattering Birds

St. Francis of Assisi's Greeting to Our Blessed Mother

St. Francis of Assisi's Love of God

St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds

The 'St. Francis' of the Moderns is Not the True St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis / Reinforcement of the Church

St. Francis' Renunciation of His Father

St. Francis Was an Obedient Catholic

St. Francis' Words to the Hot Brand

The Stigmata of St. Francis

Third Order of St. Francis

Misc. / On St. Francis of Assisi

Misc. / St. Francis of Assisi & Related

Affection of the Mother Hen

All Creatures Are Ordered to God

All Creatures Called to Rejoice & Praise God

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Animals Belong to God

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Every Being is Good

Excerpts From St. Anthony of Padua's Sermon to the Fish

God's Love & Care for Creation

God's Presence in All Things

Love of God's Creatures

Love of the Crow for its Young

Saints & Animals

To Love God is Natural to Every Nature

Creatures / Creation (Misc.)


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St. Francis of Assisi: Biographical Information 

St. Francis of Assisi: Misc. Facts

Scripture for Animal Lovers

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Animals / Creation

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All Creatures Are Ordered to God

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Animals Merit Respect & Love

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Care of Animals (Scripture)

Christ's Second Coming / Harmony Among Animals

Creation & The Fall of Man / Redemption

Creation Teaches Us / Reminds Us About God

Every Being is Good

Excerpts From St. Anthony of Padua's Sermon to the Fish

God's Love & Care for Creation

God's Presence in All Things

Love of God's Creatures

Love of the Crow for its Young

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Assisi

Note: The Ancient Patron of Assisi was St. Rufinus

"Assisi cherishes the memory of the blessing bequeathed to it by its glorious son, when, gazing upon it for the last time from the beautiful plain that stretches at its feet, he exclaimed with tears: 'Be thou blessed of the Lord, O city faithful to God, for in thee and by thee shall many souls be saved!'" (Liturgical Year)

Prayer for Assisi: "Lord, as in days gone by many evil-doers lived in this city, so now I see it has pleased your abundant mercy to show this city the fullness of your grace. May it become a dwelling and a home for all who acknowledge you and seek to glorify your name forever and ever; for all who give an example of virtuous life and witness of true doctrine to all Christendom. I therefore beg you, Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies, not to consider our ingratitude but ever to be mindful of your abundant mercy which you have displayed here." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"After eight centuries the relies and the mementos remain. All Assisi is a living relic and a testimony of the man. Of only the man? Of only the extraordinary man? It is the testimony of a special satisfaction that the heavenly Father through the work of his only begotten Son, had in this man in this 'little one', in the 'Poverello' in Francis, who - as very few in the course of the history of the Church and of mankind - learned from Christ to be meek and humble of heart. Yes, Father, such was your pleasure." (Pope John Paul II)

"[T]he memory of so many benefits derived from [St. Francis] has never been lost at any time or in any place. On the contrary we find that his life and work, which as Dante writes can be sung better by those who enjoy the glories of heaven than by human tongue, has raised and exalted him century after century in the devotion and admiration of all so that not only is his greatness increasing in the Catholic world because of a remarkable appreciation of his great sanctity, but he is also surrounded by a certain civic cult and glory by reason of which the very name Assisi has become well known to the peoples of the whole world." (Pope Pius XI, "Rite Expiatis", 1926)

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Epitaph of St. Francis of Assisi

"Ante obitum mortuus, post obitum vivus" ("Dead before death, alive after death")

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From the Bull of Canonization of St. Francis of Assisi

"Plainly a life such as his, so holy, so passionate, so brilliant, was enough to win him a place in the Church Triumphant. Yet, because the Church Militant, which can only observe the outer appearances, does not presume to judge on its own authority those not sharing its actual state, it proposes for veneration as Saints only those whose lives on earth merited such, especially because an angel of Satan sometimes transforms himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14). In his generosity the omnipotent and merciful God has provided that the aforementioned Servant of Christ did come and serve Him worthily and commendably. Not permitting so great a light to remain hidden under a bushel, but wishing to put it on a lampstand to console those dwelling in the house of light (Mt 5:15), God declared through many brilliant miracles that his life has been acceptable to God and his memory should be honored by the Church Militant. Therefore, since the wondrous events of his glorious life are quite well known to us because of the great familiarity he had with us while we still occupied a lower rank, and since we are fully convinced by reliable witnesses of the many brilliant miracles, we and the flock entrusted to us, by the mercy of God, are confident of being assisted at his intercession and of having in heaven a patron whose friendship we enjoyed on earth. With the consultation and approval of our Brothers, we have decreed that he be enrolled in the catalogue of saints worthy of veneration. We decree that his birth be celebrated worthily and solemnly by the universal Church on the fourth of October, the day on which he entered the kingdom of heaven, freed from the prison of the flesh. Hence, in the Lord we beg, admonish and exhort all of you, we command you by this apostolic letter, that on this day reserved to honor his memory, you dedicate yourselves more intensely to the divine praises, and humbly to implore his patronage, so that through his intercession and merits you might be found worthy of joining his company with the help of Him who is blessed forever. Amen." (Mira Circa Nos, Bull of Pope Gregory IX canonizing St. Francis of Assisi, 1228)

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On St Francis Of Assisi

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All Should Imitate St. Francis

Biographical Information

On the Writings / Sayings of St. Francis of Assisi

The Person of St. Francis of Assisi

Praise of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis & Animals / Creation

St. Francis & Humility

St. Francis & Mortification

St. Francis & Obedience to the Pope

St. Francis & Poverty

St. Francis & Prayer

St. Francis & Suffering

St. Francis & The Blessed Virgin

St. Francis & The Cross

St. Francis & The Gloria Patri

St. Francis' Death

St. Francis Has Changed the World

St. Francis is a Faithful Image of Jesus

The 'St. Francis' of the Moderns is Not the True St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis / Reinforcement of the Church

St. Francis Was an Obedient Catholic

The Stigmata of St. Francis

Misc.

Note: Also see St. Francis of Assisi: Biographical Information | St. Francis of Assisi: Misc. Facts

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Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi

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St. Francis of Assisi: Quotations / Teachings / Sayings

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St. Francis of Assisi on Almsgiving / Generosity

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St. Francis of Assisi on Brother Bernard

St. Francis of Assisi on Brothers Who Have Strayed From the Catholic Faith

St. Francis of Assisi on Death

St. Francis of Assisi on Envy

St. Francis of Assisi on Idleness

St. Francis of Assisi on Love of One's Enemies

St. Francis of Assisi on Loving God

St. Francis of Assisi on Melancholy

St. Francis of Assisi on Mortification

St. Francis of Assisi on Pain

St. Francis of Assisi on Penance / Confession

St. Francis of Assisi on Poverty

St. Francis of Assisi on Pride / Humility

St. Francis of Assisi on Priests / The Priesthood

St. Francis of Assisi on Purity

St. Francis of Assisi on Sin / Repentance

St. Francis of Assisi on Suffering / Trials / Infirmities

St. Francis of Assisi on The Catholic Church

St. Francis of Assisi on The Gloria Patri

St. Francis of Assisi on The Holy Eucharist

St. Francis of Assisi on The Poor in Spirit

St. Francis of Assisi on Those Who Don't Observe the Rule

St. Francis of Assisi on True Joy

St. Francis of Assisi on What a Man Really Is

Other Reflections / Teachings of St. Francis of Assisi

The 'Motto' of St. Francis of Assisi

Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi

Salutation of St. Francis of Assisi

The 'Seraphic Blessing' (St. Francis' Blessing to Brother Leo)

St. Francis of Assisi to the Chattering Birds

St. Francis of Assisi's Greeting to Our Blessed Mother

St. Francis of Assisi's Love of God

St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds

St. Francis' Renunciation of His Father

St. Francis' Words to the Hot Brand

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Third Order of St. Francis

"Such were the reasons for which the Saint determined to institute the brotherhood of the Third Order, which was to admit all ranks, all ages, both sexes, and yet in no way necessitate the rupture of family or social ties. For its rules consist only in obedience to God and His Church, to avoid factions and quarrels, and in no way to defraud our neighbor; to take up arms only for the defense of religion and of one's country; to be moderate in food and in clothing, to shun luxury, and to abstain from the dangerous seductions of dances and plays." (Pope Leo XIII, "Auspicato Concessum", 1882)

"What Francis wished to shine out, above all, in his Tertiaries, and which ought to be as their characteristic mark, is fraternal charity, most watchful guardian of peace and concord. Knowing that charity is the special commandment brought by Jesus Christ and the synthesis of the whole Christian law, St. Francis was careful to make of it the spiritual rule of his children; and he attained this result, that the Third Order rendered naturally the greatest service to the entire human family." (Pope Benedict XV, "Sacra Propediem", 1921)

"We expect that you will favor in every way within your power the Third Order of St. Francis, either by yourselves or by means of trained priests and eloquent preachers teaching the people the aims of this Order of men and women who live in the world, how worthy it is of popular esteem, how easy it is to enter this Order, to observe its holy rules, and how abundant are the indulgences and privileges which the Tertiaries enjoy. Finally, make known the great blessings which flow from the Third Order to individuals and to the communities where they live. You should urge those who have not yet given their names to this immortal band of soldiers to do so this year. As regards those who cannot, because of their age, join the Third Order, they should be enrolled as 'Cordigeri' so that even from childhood they may become accustomed to the holy discipline of this Order." (Pope Pius XI, "Rite Expiatis", 1926)

"We make an appeal for the zealous help of all those who claim for themselves Christian peace, but especially for the collaboration of the Tertiaries. They will exert a marvelous influence in restoring concord in spirit the day wherein their number and their efforts will be developed. It is, then, desirable that in every city, town, and even in each village, the Third Order count henceforth a sufficient group of members, not of inactive adherents satisfied with the mere title of Tertiaries, but instead, of those who spend themselves with zeal for their own salvation and the salvation of their brothers. Why even should not the various Catholic associations which multiply everywhere, associations of youth, of workmen, of women, not affiliate themselves to the Third Order to continue to work for the glory of Jesus Christ and the triumph of the Church with the same zeal that Francis had for peace and charity?" (Pope Benedict XV, "Sacra Propediem", 1921)

"Profoundly saddened by the misfortunes which the Church was then passing through, Francis conceived the incredible design of renewing everything conformably to the principles of the Christian law. After having founded a double religious family, one of Brothers, the other of Sisters, who pledged themselves by solemn vows to imitate the humility of the Cross, Francis, in the impossibility of opening the cloister to all whom the desire of being formed in his school drew to him, resolved to procure, even for souls living in the whirlpool of the world, the means to tend to Christian perfection. He founded, then, an Order properly called Tertiaries, differing from the two other Orders in that it would not bear the bond of the religious vows, but would be characterized by the same simplicity of life and the same spirit of penance. Thus the project which no founder of a regular Order had yet imagined, to cause the religious life to be practiced by all, Francis first conceived the idea of and the grace of God gave him to realize it with the greatest success. We have no other proof of it than this beautiful homage of Thomas de Celano: 'Marvelous workman, whose example, direction, and teachings have this admirable result, to renew in both sexes the Church of Christ and to lead to triumph a triple phalanx of souls preoccupied with their salvation.' (I Cel. xv. 40)." (Pope Benedict XV, "Sacra Propediem", 1921)

"In fact, from the lowest ranks to the highest, there prevailed an enthusiasm and a generous and eager ardor to be affiliated to this Franciscan Order. Amongst others, King Louis IX, of France, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary, sought this honor; and, in the course of centuries, several Sovereign Pontiffs, Cardinals, Bishops, Kings, and Princes have not deemed the Franciscan badges derogatory to their dignity. The associates of the Third Order displayed always as much courage as piety in the defense of the Catholic religion; and if their virtues were objects of hatred to the wicked, they never lacked the approbation of the good and wise, which is the greatest and only desirable honor. More than this, Our Predecessor, Gregory IX, publicly praised their faith and courage; nor did he hesitate to shelter them with his authority, and to call them, as a mark of honor, 'Soldiers of Christ, new Maccabees;' and deservedly so. For the public welfare found a powerful safeguard in that body of men who, guided by the virtues and rules of their founder, applied themselves to revive Christian morality as far as lay in their power and to restore it to its ancient place of honor in the State. Certain it is, that to them and their example it was often due that the rivalries of parties were quenched or softened, arms were torn from the furious hands that grasped them, the causes of litigation and dispute were suppressed, consolation was brought to the poor and the abandoned; and luxury, that gulf of fortunes and instrument of corruption, was subdued. And thus domestic peace, incorrupt morality, gentleness of behavior, the legitimate use and preservation of private wealth, civilization and social stability, spring as from a root from the Franciscan Third Order; and it is in great measure to St. Francis that Europe owes their preservation." (Pope Leo XIII, "Auspicato Concessum", 1882)

"The Third Order is indeed a religious Order but an altogether new type of community at that time, for while it possesses the spirit of a religious order, it does not obligate its members to take vows. It offers to both men and women, living in the world, the means not only of observing the laws of God but of attaining Christian perfection. The Rules of this new order may be reduced to the following principal articles. No one was accepted as a member unless he were of an unquestioned Catholic faith and obedient in all things to the Church; the manner of receiving candidates from each of the sexes into the Order; admission to religious profession was permitted after a year of novitiate, subject to the consent of the wife in the case of husbands and of the husband in the case of wives; love of purity and poverty, especially in the use of clothes, and of modesty in feminine attire; that the Tertiaries should abstain from feasting, from immodest shows and balls; abstinence and fasting; confession and communion three times a year, taking care to make peace with everyone beforehand and to restore the goods rightly belonging to others; not to bear arms except in defense of the Roman Church, of the Christian faith, and of one's own country, or with the consent of one's Minister; the recitation of the canonical hours and other prayers; the duty of making a last will and testament three months after admission into the Order; to restore as soon as possible peace among one's brethren or among those outside the order if any trouble had arisen; what to do in case the rights and privileges of the Order had been violated; not to take an oath except in case of urgent necessity recognized by the Apostolic See. To these rules were added others of no less importance; for example, on the duty of hearing Mass; of attending meetings called on certain fixed days; on the giving of alms by each according to his ability to help the poor and, especially, the sick; on the performing of the last rites for dead members; on the manner of exchanging visits in case of illness; on the manner of bringing back to the ways of virtue those who had fallen or were obstinate in sin; on the duty of not refusing the offices and functions assigned to each and to fulfill these with care; on the manner of settling disputes." (Pope Pius XI, "Rite Expiatis", 1926)

"Francis either by his own apostolate or by that of his disciples and, by the institution of the Third Order, laid the foundations of a new social order built on lines in strict conformity with the very spirit of the Gospels. Omitting everything in these Rules which relates to the liturgy and to spiritual formation, despite the fact that these matters are of primary importance, everyone can understand how from the other prescriptions of the Rules there should result such an order both in public and private life as to bring about a new type of civic intercourse. We will not call this merely a brotherly fellowship based on the practice of Christian perfection, but rather a shield of the rights of the poor and the weak against the abuses of the rich and the powerful, and all this without prejudice to good order and justice. From the association of the Tertiaries with the clergy there necessarily resulted this happy consequence, that new members were permitted to participate in the same exemptions and immunities which the latter already enjoyed. The Tertiaries no longer were called upon to take the so-called solemn oath of vassalage, neither were they conscripted for military service, nor had they to go to war or to bear arms, for in this the Rule of the Third Order was opposed to the feudal law, and by their membership in the Order they achieved a liberty which was otherwise impossible under the conditions of servitude under which they had lived. When they were set on and harassed by those whose every interest it was to cause conditions to return to their former state, they had as defenders and patrons the Popes Honorius III and Gregory IX who overcame every obstacle put in their way and prohibited such attacks by the severest punishments. From this source, therefore, there arose that profound impulse toward a saving reform of human society, toward that vast expansion and growth among Christian nations which had its beginnings in the new Order of which Francis was the Father and Teacher. Innocence of life, too, blossomed forth once more in union with the spirit of penance. From this source arose that ardent zeal which impelled not only pontiffs, cardinals, and bishops to accept the badge of the Third Order, but also kings and princes who imbibed, together with the Franciscan spirit, evangelical wisdom and, from among whom, some rose even to the glory of sainthood. The noblest virtues, too, came back into public esteem and honor. In a word, the 'face of the earth itself was changed.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Rite Expiatis", 1926)

Also See: Priests & Vocations Section

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Misc.

"We pray that the same words of our Master, which were fulfilled in St. Francis, may be fulfilled in us" (Pope John Paul II)

"And we pray to you, the Poverello of Assisi, 'Strengthen the sanctuary in our day too! Strengthen the Church! Amen.'" (Pope John Paul II)

"We thank you for the holy 'burden' of the priesthood and the episcopate. We thank you for St. Francis, who did not deem himself worthy to accept priestly ordination." (Pope John Paul II)

"What better wish could the Pope address to you than the one that was so dear to St. Francis and has remained a symbol for all his children? 'Pace e Bene!' (Peace and all Good)." (Pope John Paul II)

"Our Predecessors...never permitted any centenary of the principal events of [St. Francis'] life to pass by without exhorting the faithful to celebrate it, confirming their exhortations by the teaching authority of the Apostles which they possessed." (Pope Pius XI, "Rite Expiatis", 1926)

"How much am I obliged to my sweet Redeemer! for since, by means of his servant [St.] Francis, I have tasted the bitterness of his holy passion, I have never in my whole life found any pain or sickness that could afflict me. There is nothing insupportable to a heart that loveth God; and to him that loveth not, every thing is insupportable." (St. Clare of Assisi)

"Certainly We, of all others, approve of this zeal for so excellent an object, especially because We have been accustomed from Our youth to admire Francis of Assisi and to pay him a particular veneration; because We glory in being on the roll of the Franciscan family; and because, more than once, We have, out of devotion, climbed with eagerness and joy the sacred heights of Alvernia; there the image of that great man presented itself to Us wherever We trod, and that solitude teeming with memories held Our spirit rapt in silent contemplation." (Pope Leo XIII, "Auspicato Concessum", 1882)

"We, therefore, view with great pleasure the preparations which are being made to celebrate this solemn Centenary of St. Francis who 'in his life propped up the house and in his days fortified the temple.' (Ecclesiasticus i, 1) We take all the more pleasure in this festival since from Our earliest years We have with great devotion venerated St. Francis as Our patron. We have numbered Ourselves, too, among his children, having received the badge of the Third Order. In this year, therefore, which is the Seventh Centenary of the death of the Seraphic Father, the Catholic world, and in particular Our nation, Italy, should receive, through the intercession of St. Francis, so great an abundance of blessings that it will remain forever a year memorable in the history of the Church." (Pope Pius XI, "Rite Expiatis", 1926)

"In the next place there is the personal remembrance which they evoke for Us. We love to recall that in 1882, when the centenary of his birth spread amongst the mass of the Faithful the fervent cultus of Francis of Assisi, We wished to range Ourselves amongst the disciples of that great Patriarch, and received regularly the habit of the Tertiaries in the celebrated Church of Ara Coeli, served by the Friars Minors. Today, placed by Providence on the chair of the Prince of the Apostles, We are particularly happy to seize this occasion to testify Our devotion to St. Francis in exhorting the Catholics of the entire world to affiliate themselves with eagerness or to remain faithfully attached to this Franciscan institution, which today responds marvelously to the needs of society." (Pope Benedict XV, "Sacra Propediem", 1921)

"I came out of paradise, I said: I will water my garden of plants. Thus speaks the heavenly cultivator, who is truly the source of wisdom, God's Word, begotten by the Father from eternity, yet remaining in the Father. In these last days, made flesh in the womb of a virgin by the operation of the Holy Spirit, he went forth to the arduous work of redeeming the human race, giving himself to humanity as the model of a heavenly life. But because so often people, overcome by the anxieties of this mortal life, turned their mental gaze away from such a model, our true Solomon has made in the realm of the church militant, among other gardens, a garden of delight, far from the stormy waves of the world, in which people might devote themselves with greater peace and security to contemplating and imitating the works of the exemplar, and he himself entered this world that he might refresh it with the fertile waters of his spiritual grace and teaching. This garden is the holy religion of the friars Minor which, enclosed within the firm walls of regular observance, is content with God alone and is constantly enriched with fresh shoots, her sons. Entering this garden, the beloved Son of God gathers the myrrh and spices of mortification and penance which by their marvelous fragrance diffuse to everyone the perfume of an attractive sanctity. This is that form and rule of the heavenly life sketched by that eminent confessor of Christ, saint Francis, who taught his sons its observance by both word and example. The observers of that holy rule, men of zeal and devotion, as both pupils and true sons of so great a father, aspired and still ardently aspire to observe that rule faithfully in all its purity and fullness... We have from a tender age had a warm devotion to those who profess this rule and to the whole order. Now that, though unworthy, we bear the office of universal pastor, we are the more roused to cherish them and to honor them more kindly and attentively, the more often we consider and reflect on the plentiful harvest reaped continually from their exemplary lives and wholesome teaching for the good of the universal Church." (Council of Vienne, Convoked by Pope Clement V)

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