Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy St. Francis Day!

October 4th .... Today we celebrate St. Francis of Assisi! A grand day to celebrate, so, Happy St. Francis Day!

In my office I have a Marvel Comic book on the life a St. Francis titled "FRANCIS, Brother of the Universe" ... and isn't that so true!
Born, Francesco Bernadone (1181-1226), more books
have been written about St. Francis than about any other saint. He is the patron saint of peace, the patron saint of ecology, the patron saint of Italy and the patron saint of animals (so says my Marvel comic book), but more importantly he was a true man of God and of the Gospel! Francis "got it" - he was passionate about his relationship with Christ, passionate about life and was true "brother" to all he met. Of course he wasn't born that way, but allowed God to work in and through him over time. So, today, as the Franciscan that I am, I celebrate and honor my brother Francis! I am working a bit today, but want to get home early to meet up with the Sisters I live with as we have a nice evening planned with a special dinner and prayers to celebrate!
Actually, my celebrating started over the weekend ... I traveled to Spokane WA where about 20 Sisters of St. Francis gathered for a special ceremony Sunday honoring our Sisters for 120 years of "Humanitarian Service" in Eastern Washington. In an old section of a cemetery in Spokane eight Franciscan Sisters were buried there in the early 1900s. These were pioneering women who journeyed west from Philadelphia establishing schools, an orphanage (St. Joseph Orphanage which is now St. Joseph Family Center & continues the helping and healing ministry) and also helped give service to the people in the area including tireless effort helping the Red Cross during the time of a terrible influenza epidemic. The ceremony included a bagpiper, a few good stories of these courageous women, a proclamation from the Mayor of Spokane, and the reception of a beautiful plaque from the American Red Cross. I feel proud to be part of such a beautiful legacy! I was touched by the stories and remembering, and am challenged by the fortitude, strength and self-giving witness of these early Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia! They indeed were true followers of St. Francis! It was a wonderful day and a fine way to usher in the feast day! I am sure he never could have imagined the Franciscan Movement that grew and has developed throughout the world that includes the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare (Poor Clares) and the Order of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance (Third Order Regular which my Congregation is included in, and Secular Franciscan Order). Yeah, Francis! And so, I pray ..."O God, in your servant Francis you have given the world a true disciple of Jesus. Guide us who follow Francis (and all good men and women)to witness faithfully to the living Gospel and to bring compassion and joy to the world." ~ Morning Praise , Oct.4, Franciscan Morning and Evening Praise Prayer book


  1. Great post, Pat,--something to be really proud of and to share. Can you email me the photos from this? I can use them for CN and also for my blog. I'll check with Florence--there might also be a way I can put them on our Facebook fan page.
    Ann Marie

  2. What a lovely blog! I teach part-time at Neumann, but I don't believe I've met you. Keep up the great blogging!
    Melinda Parsons

  3. I appreciate your comments to my post - thank you!
    ...and Dr. Mel, I'm not sure I have met you either, but I do get back to the Motherhouse quite often and over to Neumann Univ. sometimes. Maybe our paths will cross one of these days

  4. Sr. Ann Marie... Yes, it was a beutiful ceremony and I am sure I can share some pictures with you. Peace!