Photo: "Skellig Michael" Copyright Irish Tourist Board.

 

   Favorite Monks: Francis of Assisi

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."

Francis of Assisi

(1181 or 1182-Oct.3, 1226 A.D.)

Note: the above fresco of  Francis was painted by Cimabue ca. 1295.  Monk Linda and I first saw it (the original) in the lower church of the Basilica of San Francesco, when we were in Assisi.

(Saint Francis) _______________

Image: Franciscan San Damiano Cross.

Franciscan San Damiano Cross _______________

Have you received Christ as your Lord and Saviour?

Find out how to do so on our page:

Plan of Salvation  _________________

Tell others about Jesus like Francis did:

Though not all Christians are called to the ministry of an Evangelist, we are all called by God to share our faith (witness) with those who are not Christians.  Some Bible verses that you will find helpful for doing this, and that you may want to commit to memory are found on other pages on our  web site (see: Memory Verses; 2nd Set: Salvation!, Plan of Salvation, and Statement of Faith). _________________

 

 

by Monk Preston

"If you will be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor."  "Take nothing for your journey."  "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."  After reading these verses, Francis said, "Here is what we are going to do, and all who shall come after us."  -from: "St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography"

Beloved By All 

Why is Francis of Assisi so beloved by everyone?  Roman Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, those of other (non-Christian) religions; indeed, even avowed atheists love the "Poverello," the "little poor man" of Assisi.  But why?

Following Jesus

There are many reasons.  His love for and appreciation of God's Creation was

Photo: Francis of Assisi in the wonderful movie, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon."

Francis turns to God, in the movie: Brother Sun, Sister Moon.  Photo Copyright 1972 Euro International Films S.P.A.  All Rights Reserved.

 about 1,000 years ahead of his time.  In missionary zeal for the world he was 600 years ahead of the Christians of the 1800's who would finally take the Great Commission seriously.  At a time when Europeans were fighting the Crusades, Francis wanted to (and did) preach the Gospel to the world of Islam.  Perhaps he followed Jesus' example more closely than anyone else.  Francis did not preach against sinful clerics and abuses in the Church, he felt that he should show the truth and God's way by living example.  All of his life seems lived to show God's love.  Who can question the sincerity or love of someone who often washes the sores of lepers?    

 Preaching the Good News

 In 1208 A.D., Francis donned a raggedy Habit (Monk Robe) tied with a piece of rope, and committed to follow Jesus and the Bible as literally as possible (see: Plan of Salvation).  He was soon joined by others.  They are known as "friars" because their form of monasticism was so different from what people were used to (they were not so different from the Celtic monastics, however).  Instead of withdrawing totally from the world, they went about preaching Christ.  In 1211 the Benedictines gave his Order a little Chapel called "The Portiuncula."  Building a few small wattle, straw, and _____________________________ 

 

Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white Celtic cross on a green shield). Image: "Fresco of St. Francis of Assisi" by Cimabue.

    Photo: Francis talks with pope Innocent III (Sir Alec Guinness).    

St. Francis talks with pope Innocent III (Sir Alec Guinness), in the movie: Brother Sun, Sister Moon.  Photo Copyright 1972 Euro International Films S.P.A.  All Rights Reserved. _____________________________________________

Note: we use the term "Monk" for all "Monastics" ("Religious").  In Roman Catholic terminology, St. Francis would not be referred as a "Monk", but rather as a "Friar" (mendicant orders). _____________________________________________

   mud huts (cells), and surrounding all with a hedge, it became the first Franciscan monastery (Francis didn't use that term, calling it instead a "Convent."  They are also called "Friaries").  Wanting to take the Gospel to the world, Francis preached the Gospel to the Saracens (Moslems) in Egypt, and attempted to take the Gospel to Morocco, but was stopped in Spain by sickness.  Nine of his followers took up his mission and preached the Good News in Morocco.  They were executed by be-heading; becoming the first Franciscan martyrs.

 A Wolf, Birds, and a Sultan

There are so many great stories about Francis: in the public square giving the clothes he was wearing back to his father, and being covered by the Bishop's cloak; taming the fierce wolf of Gubbio; preaching to the birds; preaching to a Moslem Sultan in Egypt, and the leader of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey; caring for lepers; wealthy Bernardo selling all his possessions, and he and Francis giving away the gold coins to the poor as fast as they can;...one does not know where to begin.  

My advice: watch the movie, Brother Sun, Sister Moon (my all-time favorite movie), and read the book, St. Francis of Assisi (A Biography) by Omer Englebert. ______________________________________

See Also:

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Copyright 2002 S.G.P. All rights reserved. 

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