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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Saints for Today: Francis of Assisi

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Dr. Jean Lee
Dr. Jean Lee
Jean M. Lee, M.A., D.Min., is a licensed behavioral health and substance abuse counselor, founding a nonprofit, state-licensed behavior health counseling agency and Christian gift/book store. Volunteer work includes: Jail ministry, Legion of Mary membership, door-to-door evangelization, and writing a weekly newspaper column titled “Faith and Inspiration: Encyclopedia of Saints for Today.” A Catholic revert after 32 years away from the Church, she is devout in the Catholic faith, loves the saints, and lives a deeper spiritual/religious and more joyful life since returning to the Church.

The patron saint of Italy, Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance. From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, “Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down.”

He must have suspected a deeper meaning to “build up my house.” He gave up all his possessions, piling even his clothes before his earthly father. Francis had no intention of founding a religious order, but once it began, he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it. On his deathbed, Francis said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, “Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death.”

Reflection: Francis of Assisi was poor only that he might be Christ-like. He recognized creation as another manifestation of the beauty of God. But all this was, as it were, preliminary to the heart of his spirituality: living the gospel life, summed up in the charity of Jesus perfectly expressed in the Eucharist.

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-francis-of-assisi

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