Thursday, December 12, 2013

Advent Day 12

True lovers of peace are those who, in all their sufferings upon earth, remain at peace in mind and body for the love of Jesus Christ.
~ Francis of Assisi

I fell in love with St. Francis when I listened to a Great Courses lecture series about him on CDs. His personality was so much more robust than is shown in most paintings and stained glass of him. A few things that stand out in my memory. When Francis made a vow of poverty, he did so my giving away everything he owed, including his clothes.  He stood in the town square, bare naked, praising God, and humiliating his wealthy businessman father. It amuses me that Francis enjoyed having animals in his worship services.  A lot of his pictures have him surrounded by animals; the artists got that right about him.  Another great story is  about how Francis wanted to be like Jesus in every way.  He felt he should be martyred, but how does one accomplish that? Francis devised a plan. Since the Crusades were going on, he thought that if he took a trip to the Muslim world to spread the good news about Christ, that he would surely be tortured and killed. But when the Muslim ruler, I think his name was Saladin, had Francis brought to his home, they became great friends. Apparently people couldn't help but like the man. Instead of having Francis killed, Saladin had an armed guard escort Francis safely back home.

St. Francis was a true lover of peace. We can all follow in his footsteps and be peace lovers in our own walk and our own ways.

I found this picture of St. Francis at free to use and share.

It's called Saint Francis of Assisi and scenes of his life painted by Bonaventura Berlinghieri in 1235, according to wikimedia.

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