We celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on October 4, 2017.
“Saint Francis gave up a life of wealth and comfort to help and care for the poor. He is a profoundly popular saint, particularly with children, and is fondly remembered for his love of animals and all God’s creations.”
Source: Saints and Angels, page 40.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.”
In 2015, I went to Rome, Italy, to be with my son, Father William Goldin. I was there for Holy Week, and because my son was writing his doctoratal dissertation, he was on the university’s schedule and had the week as a holiday. We traveled outside of Rome for a couple of days to see several wonderful cathedrals and one ancient monastery, that was later completely demolished in an earthquake. One of the beautiful places we visited was Assisi. Many cathedrals in European cities were built on high hills, as were forts. The original dwellers in Assisi had a fighting chance if attacked because they could see an enemy horde approaching miles before they arrived. Right before the drive up the hill to the Basilica of Saint Francis is the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels. We stopped to visit and pay our respects, because within the big basilica is a tiny church called Porziuncola. This was the original church of Saint Francis and it is where he died. The Basilica named in his honor is at the top of the high hill, and is the complete opposite of the miniature, humble church-within-a-church at the base of the hill. The fields and the vegetation that surround Assisi are beautiful. It’s easy to image Saint Francis amidst birds and rabbits, enjoying the lovely trees and flowers. In fact, many homes throughout the world have bird baths with a Saint Francis statue surrounded by cement animals. The real Saint Francis was a brave, devout follower of Christ, who was humble and chose to live a life of poverty: “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 and perfectly expressed in the Eucharist.”
“Saint Francis of Assisi is the Patron Saint of:
Photos from Assisi by Father William Goldin