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Reflections: St. Francis of Assisi (Teachings)

St. Francis of Assisi

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Reflections: 

St. Francis of Assisi:

Quotations / Teachings / Sayings

Wisdom of the Popes, Saints, Theologians, Other...

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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 / Teachings of St. Francis of Assisi

More...

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

Also See: Saint Francis of Assisi (Facts) | On St. Francis of Assisi (Reflections)

Category
Quotation

The 'Motto' of St. Francis of Assisi 

"Deus meus et Omnia" ["My God and my All."] (St. Francis of Assisi)

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Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi 

 Click here for 'Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi'

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Salutation of St. Francis of Assisi

"Our Lord give you peace." [Or, "May the Lord give you peace."] (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi | The 'Seraphic Blessing' (St. Francis' Blessing to Brother Leo)

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

"May the Lord bless thee and keep thee. May he show his face to thee and have mercy on thee. May he turn his countenance to thee and give thee peace. May the Lord bless thee, brother Leo." [St. Francis of Assisi to Brother Leo, English translation (original writing preserved in Assisi), also see Num. 6:24-26]

Also See: Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi | Salutation of St. Francis of Assisi

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St. Francis of Assisi on Almsgiving / Generosity

"Now, this poor man of Christ had but two pieces of money - to wit, his body and his soul - which in his liberal charity he could bestow upon others, and of these he made a continual offering for the love of Christ" (St. Bonaventure)

"It would be considered a theft on our part if we didn't give to someone in greater need than we are." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"I should be accounted a thief by the great Almsgiver were I to withhold that which I wear from him who has greater need of it than I." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"If we can enter the church day and night and implore God to hear our prayers, how careful we should be to hear and grant the petitions of our neighbors in need." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Each one should confidently make known his need to the other, so that he might find what he needs and minister to him. And each one should love and care for his brother in all those things in which God will give him grace, as a mother loves and cares for her son." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Let us, therefore, have charity and humility and give alms because it washes the stains of our sins from our clothes. For people lose everything they leave behind in this world; but they carry with them the rewards of charity and the alms which they gave, for which they will have a reward and a just retribution from the Lord." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Poverty

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St. Francis of Assisi on Animals / Creatures

Also See: Animals / Pets (Topic Page)

"We are all creatures of one family." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Those who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity will deal likewise with their fellow man." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi | St. Francis of Assisi to the Chattering Birds | St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds | On St. Francis of Assisi | Animals in Church History (St. Francis)

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St. Francis of Assisi on Brother Bernard

"Brother Bernard was the first brother whom the Lord gave me, as well as the first to put into practice and fulfill most completely the perfection of the Holy Gospel by distributing all his goods to the poor; because of this and many other prerogatives, I am bound to love him more than any other brother of the entire Order. Therefore, as much as I can, I desire and command that, whoever the minister general is, he should cherish and honor him as he would me, and likewise the ministers provincial and the brothers of the entire Order should esteem him in place of me." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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

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

"All the brothers must be Catholics, [and] live and speak in a Catholic manner. But if any of them has strayed from the Catholic faith and life, in word or in deed, and has not amended his ways, he should be completely expelled from our fraternity. And we should regard all clerics and all religious as our lord in those things which pertain to the salvation of the soul and who have not deviated from our religion, and, in the Lord, we should respect their order and their office and government." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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

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St. Francis of Assisi on Death

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"Blessed be God for our sister, the death of the body." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Welcome, my Sister Death!" (St. Francis of Assisi, at the approach of his death)

"But let everyone know that whenever or however a person dies in mortal sin without making amends when he could have done so and did not, the devil snatches up his soul out of his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Pause and reflect, for the day of death is approaching. I beg you, therefore, with all possible respect, not to forget the Lord or turn away from His commandments by reason of the cares and preoccupations of this world, for all those who are oblivious of Him and turn away from His commands are cursed and will be totally forgotten by Him (Ex. 33:13). And when the day of death does come, everything which they think they have will be taken from them. And the wiser and more powerful they may have been in this world, so much greater will be the punishments they will endure in hell (cf. Wis. 6:7)" (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Suffering / Trials / Infirmities

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St. Francis of Assisi on Envy

"When a man envies his brother the good that God says or does through him, it is like committing a sin of blasphemy, because he is really envying God, who is the only source of every good." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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St. Francis of Assisi on Idleness

"All the brothers should always be intent on good works, for it is written: 'Always do something good so that the devil will find you occupied.' And again: 'Idleness is the enemy of the soul.' Therefore, the servants of God must always give themselves totally to prayer or to some good work." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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

Also See: Love / Charity (Topic Page)

"A man truly loves his enemy when he is not offended by the injury done to himself, but for love of God feels burning sorrow for the sin his enemy has brought on his own soul, and proves his love in a practical way." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Let us pay attention, all brothers, to what the Lord says: Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you, for our Lord Jesus Christ, Whose footprints we must follow, called His betrayer 'friend' and gave Himself willingly to those who crucified Him. Our friends, then, are all those who unjustly afflict upon us trials and ordeals, shame and injuries, sorrows and torments, martyrdom and death; we must love them greatly for we will possess eternal life because of what they bring upon us." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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St. Francis of Assisi on Loving God 

Also See: God (Topic Page)

"But in the holy love which is God, I beg all brothers, both the minister and the others, as they overcome every obstacle and put aside every care and anxiety, to strive as best they can to serve, love, honor, and adore the Lord God with a clean heart and a pure mind, for this is what He desires above all things." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Let us all love the Lord God with all [our] heart, all [our] soul, with all [our] mind and all [our] strength and with fortitude and with total understanding, with all of our powers, with every effort, every affection, every emotion, every desire, and every wish. He has given and gives to each one of us [our] whole body, [our] whole soul, and [our] whole life. He created us and redeemed us, and will save us by His mercy alone. He did and does every good thing for us [who are] miserable and wretched, rotten and foul-smelling, ungrateful and evil." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"[L]et us desire nothing else, let us wish for nothing else, let nothing else please us and cause us delight except our Creator and Redeemer and Savior, the one true God, Who is the Fullness of Good all good, every good, the true and supreme good, Who alone is Good merciful and gentle, delectable and sweet, Who alone is holy, just and true, holy and right, Who alone is kind, innocent, pure, from Whom and through Whom and in Whom is all pardon, all grace, all glory, of all the penitent and the just, of all the blessed who rejoice together in heaven. Therefore, let nothing hinder us nothing separate us or nothing come between us. Let all of us, wherever we are, in every place, at every hour, at every time of day, everyday and continually, believe truly and humbly, and keep in [our] heart, and love, honor, adore, service, praise and bless, glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks to, the most high and supreme eternal God, Trinity and Unity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Creator of all, Savior of all who believe in Him and hope in Him and love Him, Who is without beginning and without end, unchangeable, invisible, indescribable, ineffable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, blessed, worthy of praise, glorious, exalted on high, sublime, most high, gentle, loveable, delectable and totally desirable above all else forever. Amen." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi's Love of God

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St. Francis of Assisi on Melancholy 

To the Poor Clares: "God is the sovereign Master, the Master of excellence. A melancholy and frowning face is out of place in His service." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Let those who belong to the devil hang their heads - we ought to be glad and rejoice in the Lord. Let the Brothers take care that they do not present the appearance of hypocrites, with dark and cast down mien. But that they show themselves glad in the Lord, cheerful and worthy of love, and agreeable." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on True Joy

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St. Francis of Assisi on Mortification

"Let us chastise our body crucifying it with its vices, concupiscence and sins, because by living according to the flesh, the devil wishes to take away from us the love of Jesus Christ and eternal life and to lose himself in hell with everyone else." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Penance / Confession | St. Francis of Assisi on Sin / Repentance | St. Francis of Assisi on Suffering / Trials / Infirmities

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St. Francis of Assisi on Pain

"So great is the good which I expect that all pain is to me a delight." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Suffering / Trials / Infirmities

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St. Francis of Assisi on Penance / Confession 

Also See: Penance / Confession (Topic Page)

"[L]et them not fail to have recourse to a priest, since the power of binding and loosing is granted only to priests." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"We must also confess all our sins to a priest, and receive from him the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who does not eat His Flesh and does not drink His Blood (cf. Jn. 6:55-7) cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Yet let him eat and drink worthily, since he who receives unworthily eats and drinks judgment to himself, not recognizing - that is, not discerning - the Body of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:29). Moreover, let us perform worthy fruits of penance. And let us love our neighbors as ourselves. And if there is anyone who does not wish to love them as himself, at least let him do no harm to them, but rather do good." (St. Francis of Assisi)

[To preachers of his order:] "And in every sermon which you give, admonish the people concerning [the necessity of] penance, and [instruct them] that no one can be saved unless he receive the Body and Blood of the Lord (cf. Jn. 6:54). And when It is sacrificed upon the altar by the priest and carried to any place, let all the people, on bended knee, praise, glorify, and honor the Lord God living and true. And you must announce and preach His praise to all peoples in such a manner that at every hour and whenever the bells are rung, praise, glory, and honor are given to the all-powerful God through all the earth." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Fear and honor, praise and bless, give thanks and adore the Lord God Almighty in Trinity and in Unity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit the Creator of all. Do penance, performing worthy fruits of penance since we will soon die. Give and it shall be given to you. Forgive and you shall be forgiven. And if you do not forgive men their sins, the Lord will not forgive you your sins. Confess all your sins. Blessed are those who die in penance, for they shall be in the kingdom of heaven. Woe to those who do not die in penance, for they shall be the children of the devil whose works they do, and they shall go into the eternal fire. Beware and abstain from every evil and persevere in good till the end." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Sin / Repentance | St. Francis of Assisi on Suffering / Trials / Infirmities

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St. Francis of Assisi on Poverty

"The brother shall not acquire anything as their own, neither a house nor a place nor anything at all." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Answer to bishop who disapproved of his Order's poor lifestyle: "If we had any possessions, we should need weapons and laws to defend them." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Poverty is the way to salvation, the nurse of humility, and the root of perfection. Its fruits are hidden, but they multiply themselves infinite ways." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Whoever curses a poor man does an injury to Christ, whose noble image he wears - the image of Him who made Himself poor for us in this world." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"I, brother Francis, the little one, wish to follow the life and poverty of our most high Lord Jesus Christ and of His most holy mother and to preserve in this until the end" (St. Francis of Assisi)

"My brother, when thou seest a poor man, behold in him a mirror of the Lord, and of His poor Mother. In the sick, in like manner, consider that He bore our sicknesses." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"We should have no more use or regard for money in any of its forms than we have for dust. Those who think it is worth more, or who are greedy for it, expose themselves to the danger of being deceived by the devil." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"If we had any possessions, we would be forced to have arms to protect them, since possessions are a cause of disputes and strife, and in many ways we would be hindered from loving God and our neighbor. Therefore in this life we wish to have no temporal possessions." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Almsgiving / Generosity

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St. Francis of Assisi on Pride / Humility 

"Blessed is the one who takes no more pride in the good that God says and does through him than in that which He says and does through someone else." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"We can never know how patient or humble someone is when everything is going well with him. But when those who should cooperate with him do exactly the opposite, then we can know. A man has as much patience and humility as he has then, and no more." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"What have you to be proud of? If you were so clever and learned that you knew everything and could speak every language, so that the things of heaven were an open book to you, still you could not boast of that. Any one of the demons once knew more about the things of heaven, and now knows more about the things of earth, than any human being, even one who might have received from God a special revelation of the highest wisdom." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Therefore, all brothers must beware of all pride and vainglory. And let us keep ourselves from the wisdom of this world and the prudence of the flesh (Rom. 8:6). For the spirit of the flesh desires and is most eager to have words, but [it cares] little to carry them out. And it does not seek a religion and holiness in the interior spirit, but it wishes and desires to have a religion and holiness outwardly apparent to people. And these are the ones of whom the Lord says: Truly I say to you: They have received their reward (Mt. 6:2) But the Spirit of the Lord wishes the flesh to be mortified and despised, worthless and rejected. And it strives for humility and patience, and the pure and simple and true peace of the spiritual person. And above all things it always longs for the divine fear and the divine wisdom and the divine love of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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St. Francis of Assisi on Priests / The Priesthood

Also See: Priests (Topic Page)

"[L]et them not fail to have recourse to a priest, since the power of binding and loosing is granted only to priests." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Blessed is the servant who has faith in the clergy who life uprightly according to the norms of the Roman Church. And woe to those who look down upon them; for even though they may be sinners, nonetheless no one is to judge them since the Lord alone reserves judgment on them to Himself. For inasmuch as their ministry is greater in that it concerns the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they receive and which they alone administer to others, so those who sin against them commit a greater sin than [should they sin] against all other people of this world." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"We must also fast and abstain from vices and sins and from any excess of food and drink, and be Catholics. We must also visit churches frequently and venerate and show respect for the clergy, not so much for them personally if they are sinners, but by reason of their office and their administration of the most holy Body and Blood of Christ which they sacrifice upon the altar and receive and administer to others. And let all of us firmly realize that no one can be saved except without the holy words and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which the clergy pronounce, proclaim and minister. And they alone must administer [them], and not others." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"The Lord granted me, Brother Francis, to begin to do penance in this way: While I was in sin, it seemed very bitter to me to see lepers. And the Lord Himself led me among them and I had mercy upon them. And when I left them that which seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body; and afterward I lingered a little and left the world. And the Lord gave me such faith in churches that I would simply pray and speak in this way 'We adore You, Lord Jesus Christ, in all Your churches throughout the world, and we bless You, for through Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.' Afterward the Lord gave me and still gives me such faith in priests who live according to the manner of the holy Roman Church because of their order, that if they were to persecute me, I would [still] have recourse to them. And if I possessed as much wisdom as Solomon had and I came upon pitiful priests of this would, I would not preach contrary to their will in the parishes in which they live. And I desire to fear, love, and honor them and all others as my masters. And I do not wish to consider sin in them because I discern the Son of God in them and they are my masters. And I act in this way since I see nothing corporally of the Most High Son of God in this world except His Most holy Body and Blood which they receive and which they alone administer to others. And these most holy mysteries I wish to have honored above all things and to be reverenced and to have them reserved in precious places." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on The Catholic Church | St. Francis of Assisi on The Holy Eucharist

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St. Francis of Assisi on Purity 

"And all of us must keep close watch over ourselves and keep all parts of our body pure, since the Lord says 'Anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mt. 5:28)'; and the Apostle says: 'Do you not know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit?'; therefore, whoever violates God's temple, God will destroy him (1 Cor. 3:17)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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St. Francis of Assisi on Sin / Repentance

Also See: Sin (Topic Page)

"We may know with certainty that nothing belongs to us except our vices and sins." (St. Francis of Assisi) 

"Even though I had committed but one little sin, I should have ample reason to repent of it all my life." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"But let everyone know that whenever or however a person dies in mortal sin without making amends when he could have done so and did not, the devil snatches up his soul out of his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"If any brother, at the instigation of the devil, commits a sin of fornication, he should be deprived of the habit, which he has lost through his wickedness, and he should put it aside completely, and be totally expelled from our Order. And afterward let him do penance for his sins." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"And let all the brothers, both the ministers and servants as well as the others, take care not to be disturbed or angered at the sin or the evil of another, because the devil wishes to destroy many through the fault of one; but they should spiritually help [that one] who has sinned as best they can, because it is not the healthy who are in need of the physician, but those who are sick (Mk. 2:17)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Be conscious, O man, of the wondrous state in which the Lord God has placed you, for He created you and formed you to the image of His beloved Son according to the body, and to His likeness according to the spirit (cf. Gen. 1:26). And [yet] all the creatures under heaven, each according to its nature, serve, know, and obey their Creator better than you. And even the demons did not crucify Him, but you together with them have crucified Him and crucify Him even now by delighting in vices and sins." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"All those men and women who are not [engaged in] penance and do not receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; [who] practice vice and sin and follow wicked concupiscence and the desires of the flesh; [who] do not observe what they have promised to the Lord, and bodily serve the world by the desires of the flesh, the anxieties of the world and the cares of this life: [such people] are held fast by the devil, whose children they are and whose works they perform (cf. Jn. 8:41). They are blind, since they do not see the true light, our Lord Jesus Christ. They do not have spiritual wisdom, since they do not possess the Son of God, Who is the true wisdom of the Father. It is said of these people: Their wisdom has been swallowed up (Ps. 106:27), and' Cursed are those who turn away from Your commands (Ps. 118:21). They see [and] acknowledge, they know and do evil deeds, and, knowingly, they lose [their] souls." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"See, you blind ones, you who are deceived by your enemies: by the flesh, the world, and the devil; because it is sweet to the body to commit sin and it is bitter for it to serve God; because all vices and sins come forth and proceed from the heart of man, as the Lord says in the Gospel (cf. Mk. 7:21). And you have nothing in this world or in [that world] to come. And you think you possess the vanities of this world for a while, but you are deceived, since the day and the hour will come to which you give no thought [that of which] you have no knowledge and [of which] you are ignorant. The body becomes sick, death approaches, and this man dies a bitter death. And no matter when or how a man dies in the guilt of sin without doing penance and satisfaction if he is able to perform satisfaction and does not, the devil snatches up his soul from his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Penance / Confession

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St. Francis of Assisi on Suffering / Trials / Infirmities 

Also See: Sickness / Illness (Topic Page)

"Offer your bodies and take up His holy cross and follow His most holy commands even to the end." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"[W]e must rejoice when we would fall into various trials and endure every sort of anguish of soul and body or ordeals in this world for the sake of eternal life." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"I thank you, Lord God, for all my pains; if it pleases you, Lord increase them a hundredfold. I shall thankfully accept whatever sorrow you give, not sparing me; for in the fulfillment of your will I find my greatest solace." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"In what then can you glory? For if you were so subtle and wise that you had all the knowledge and knew how to interpret all tongues and minutely investigate the heavenly bodies, in all these things you could not glory, for one demon knew more about the things of earth than all men together, even if there may have been someone who received from the Lord a special knowledge of the highest wisdom. Likewise, even if you were more handsome and richer than everyone else and even if you performed wonders such as driving out demons, all those things would be an obstacle to you and none of them would belong to you nor could you glory in any of these things. But in this we can glory: in our infirmities (cf. 2 Cor. 12:5) and bear daily the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Lk. 14:27)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Pain

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St. Francis of Assisi on the Catholic Church

"And all of us lesser brothers, useless servants, humbly ask and beg all those who wish to serve the Lord God within the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church...that all of us may persevere in the true faith and in penance, for otherwise no one will be saved." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Priests / The Priesthood | St. Francis of Assisi on The Holy Eucharist

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St. Francis of Assisi on the Gloria Patri

Also See: Catholic Prayers (Topic Page)

"Study well the Gloria Patri [Glory be to the Father... prayer]; in it you will find the whole substance of the Scriptures." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi

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St. Francis of Assisi on the Holy Eucharist 

Also See: Holy Eucharist (Topic Page)

"[St. Francis'] burning love for the Sacrament of our Lord's Body seemed to consume the very marrow of his bones, as he wondered within himself which most to admire - the condescension of that charity, or the charity of that condescension of our Lord. He communicated often, and so devoutly as to move others to devotion; and, by the sweetness of that Immaculate [Host], he was, as it were, spiritually inebriated, and frequently rapt in ecstasy." (St. Bonaventure)

"[T]hey should receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with great humility and reverence, remembering what the Lord says: Whoever eats and drinks my blood has eternal life (cf. Jn. 6:55) and: Do this in memory of me (Lk. 22:19)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

[To preachers of his order:] "I beg you, with all that is in me and more, that, when it is appropriate and you judge it profitable, you humbly beg the clergy to revere above everything else the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His holy written words which consecrate [His] Body." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Therefore, kissing your feet and with all that love of which I am capable, I implore all of you brothers to show all possible reverence and honor to the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in Whom that which is in the heavens and on the earth is brought to peace and is reconciled to the all-powerful God (cf. Col 1:20)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Let the whole world of mankind tremble the whole world shake and the heavens exult when Christ, the Son of the living God, is on the altar in the hands of a priest. O admirable heights and sublime lowliness! O sublime humility! O humble sublimity! That the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under the little form of bread! Look, brothers, at the humility of God and pour out your hearts before Him! Humble yourselves, as well, that you may be exalted by Him. Therefore, hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Therefore all those who saw the Lord Jesus according to [His] humanity and did not see and believe according to the Spirit and the Godhead that He is the true Son of God were condemned. And now in the same way, all those who see the sacrament [of the Holy Eucharist], which is sanctified by the words of the Lord upon the altar at the hands of the priest in the form of bread and wine, and who do not see and believe according to the Spirit and the Godhead that is truly the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, are condemned. [Such] is attested by the Most High Himself Who says: 'This is my Body and the Blood of my new testament...' and 'He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life' (cf. Jn. 6:55). Therefore it is the Spirit of the Lord, Who lives in His faithful, Who receives the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord. All others who do not share in this same Spirit and who presume to receive Him eat and drink judgment to themselves (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:29). Therefore, O sons of men, how long will you be hard of heart? Why do you not recognize the truth and believe in the Son of God? See, daily He humbles Himself as when He came from the royal throne into the womb of the Virgin; daily He comes to us in a humble form; daily He comes down from the bosom of the Father upon the altar in the hands of the priest. And as He appeared to the holy apostles in true flesh, so now He reveals Himself to us in the sacred bread. As they saw only his flesh by means of their bodily slight, yet believed Him to be God as they contemplated Him with the eyes of faith, so, as we see bread and wine with [our] bodily eyes, we too are to see and firmly believe them to be His most holy Body and Blood living and true. And in this way the Lord is always with His faithful, as He Himself says: Behold I am with you even to the end of the world (cf. Mt. 28:30)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Priests / The Priesthood | St. Francis of Assisi on The Catholic Church

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St. Francis of Assisi on the Poor in Spirit 

"'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs (Mt. 5:3).' There are many who, applying themselves insistently to prayer and good deeds, engage in much abstinence and many mortifications of their bodies, but they are scandalized and quickly roused to anger by a single word which seems injurious to their person, or by some other things which might be taken from them. These are not poor in spirit because a person who is truly poor in spirit hates himself (cf. Lk. 14:26) and loves those who strike him on the cheek (cf. Mt. 5:39)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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

"But if any of the brothers do not wish to observe these things, I do not consider them to be Catholics nor my brothers, and I do not wish to see them or speak with them until they shall have done penance. I say this also of all others who go wandering about with no regard for the discipline of the Rule, for our Lord Jesus Christ gave His life that He might not lose the obedience of the most holy Father (cf. Phil. 2:8)" (St. Francis of Assisi)

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

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St. Francis of Assisi on True Joy 

"What then is true joy? I return from Perugia and arrive here in the dead of night; and it is winter time, muddy and so cold that icicles have formed on the edges of my habit and keep striking my legs, and blood flows from such wounds. And all covered with mud and cold, I come to the gate and after I have knocked and called for some time, a brother comes and asks: 'Who are you?' I answer: 'Brother Francis.' And he says: 'Go away; this is not a proper hour for going about; you may not come in.' And when I insist, he answers: 'Go away, you are a simple and a stupid person; we are so many and we have no need of you. You are certainly not coming to us at this hour!' And I stand again at the door and say: 'For the love of God, take me in tonight.' And he answers: 'I will not, Go to the Crosiers' place and ask there.' I tell you this: If I had patience and did not become upset, there would be true joy in this and true virtue and the salvation of the soul.'" (St. Francis of Assisi)

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St. Francis of Assisi on What a Man Really Is

"What a man is before God, that he is, and nothing more." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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St. Francis of Assisi to the Chattering Birds

Also See: Animals / Pets (Topic Page)

 

To the chattering birds: "Little sisters, if you have now had your say, it is time that I also should be heard." [After which they were silent] (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Animals / Creatures | St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds

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

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"I greet you, Lady, Holy Queen, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Virgin...chosen by the most holy Father of heaven; consecrated to holiness thorough His most holy and beloved Son and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. In you was and is the whole fullness of grace and everything that is good." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi

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St. Francis of Assisi's Love of God 

Also See: God (Topic Page)

"Love has cast me into a furnace, love has cast me into a furnace, I am cast into a furnace of love. My new Bridegroom, the loving Lamb, gave me the nuptial ring; then having cast me into prison, He cleft my heart, and my body fell to the ground. Those arrows, propelled by love, struck me and set me on fire. From peace He made war, and I am dying of sweetness. The darts rained so thick and fast, that I was all in agony. Then I took a buckler, but the shafts were so swift that it shielded me no more; they mangled my whole body, so strong was the arm that shot them. He shot them so powerfully, that I despaired of parrying them; and to escape death, I cried with all my might: 'Thou transgressest the laws of the camp.' But he only set up a new instrument of war, which overwhelmed me with fresh blows. So true was His aim, that He never missed. I was lying on the ground, unable to move my limbs. My whole body was broken, and I had no more sense than a man deceased; Deceased, not by a true death, but through excess of joy. Then regaining possession of my body, I felt so strong, that I could follow the guides who led me to the court of heaven. Returning to myself, I took up arms, and I made war upon Christ: I rode into His territory, and meeting Him, I engaged Him at once, and took my revenge on Him. Having had my revenge, I made a treaty with Him; for from the beginning Christ had loved me with a true love. And now my heart has become capable of the consolations of Christ." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Loving God | Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi

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St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds 

Also See: Animals / Pets (Topic Page)

"My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple raiment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you all the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits: and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: St. Francis of Assisi on Animals / Creatures | St. Francis of Assisi to the Chattering Birds

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St. Francis' Renunciation of His Father

"Hitherto I have called Pietro Bernardone father; but now I am the servant of God." (St. Francis of Assisi, when brought before the bishop by his father)

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St. Francis' Words to the Hot Brand 

Spoken by St. Francis to the red-hot brand (that was to be used for a medical procedure aimed at correcting his eye problems): "Brother Fire, God made you beautiful and strong and useful; I pray you be courteous with me." (St. Francis of Assisi)

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Other Reflections / Teachings of St. Francis of Assisi

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