Friday, September 17, 2010
Happy Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis!
Today is the feast of the great Jesuit, St. Robert Bellarmine, but as a true blue Franciscan ~ follower of St. Francis, I also want to highlight this day as the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi!
In my Franciscan Morning and Evening Praise prayer book (published by The Franciscan Federation, Third Order Regular of the Sisters and Brothers of the United States), the office of the day is introduced with this explanation of the day ...
"Francis had a burning love for the Crucified and never ceased to preach this devotion. In 1224, two years before his death, as he was lost in deep contemplation on Mount La Verna, the marks of Christ's passion were imprinted on his body."
I just couldn't let the day go by without a brief entry, especially since I have this beautiful water colored image to share. A young woman that has become my friend drew and painted this picture and gave me the framed artwork. I love it! (... and technology is so great that I was able to scan it to share.)
Anyway ... in many ways it can be hard for me to comprehend the deep prayer and contemplation that was so very much a part of St.Francis that this awesome gift of the stigmata became his... whew ... So great a love Francis had for Jesus, the crucified Christ!
I don't know what more I can write at this point, so I close with a prayer used in this morning's office.
"O God, in your servant Francis you have given the world a true disciple of Jesus. Help us (help me) who follow Francis to witness faithfully to the living Gospel and bring to the world compassion and joy."
Blessings on your weekend! I am off to Spokane, WA next week for a gathering and meetings with others who minister in vocation and formation work in various Congregations ~ should be good to get together and share!
Pace E Bene!