Sunday October 5th 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

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St. Margaret's,                        St. Joseph's,                        St. Finnan's

His tenderness for and his power over animals were noted again and again. From his companions we have the story of his rebuke to the noisy swallows who were disturbing his preaching at Alviano: "Little sister swallows, it is now my turn to speak; you have been talking enough all this time." We hear also of the birds that perched attentively around when he told them to sing their Creator's praises, of the rabbit that would not leave him at Lake Trasymene, and of the tamed wolf of Gubbio -- all incidents that have inspired innumerable artists and story tellers .

In the spring of 1212, an eighteen-year-old girl of Assisi named Clara heard Francis preach in the cathedral and left her father's castle to take the vow of poverty and become a disciple. The monks of Monte Subasio aided Francis by giving him a place where Clara and her earliest followers could be lodged; to them he gave the same rules as the brothers had. Today, she is know as St. Clare, and her monastery attracts thousands of pilgrims each year. Francis died the holiest of death on October 4. 1226, and his life has continued to influence and inspire people down the centuries. He gave us the Christmas Crib, and we sing often at Mass his beautiful prayer put to music: Make me a channel of your peace.

know my will.  And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn to exceeding joy."

 Christ speaks to Francis from the cross

From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, "Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down." Francis became the totally poor and humble work­man. He must have suspected a deeper meaning to "build up my house." But he would have been content to be for the rest of his life as the poor workman actually putting brick on brick in abandoned chapels.

He gave up every material thing he had before his earthly father (who was demanding restitution for Francis' "gifts" to the poor) so that he could be totally free to say "Our Father in heaven." He was, for a time, considered to be a religious eccentric, begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, bringing sadness and ridicule from his former rich friends. But genuineness will tell. A few people began to realize that this man was actually trying to be Christ-like and living his life according to the Gospels.

Francis of Assisi, a saint for all people (feast October 4th)

We know more of St. Francis than of any other medieval saint. Not only have we his own words, his Rule, Testament, letters, poems, and liturgical writings, but also the intimate accounts of several of his disciples, written down within twenty years after his death. From this great store of authentic material a clear picture of the man emerges. St. Francis is one saint whom both Catholics and non- Catholics have united in honouring. Certainly no other has so appealed to Protestants and even to non-Christians. And the appeal is timeless: Francis captured the imagination of his contemporaries as well as that of modern men by his unique simplicity and a pure grace of spirit.
Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi's youth.Long periods of prayer led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ,. His embrace of a leper whom he met on the road was the climax of his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: "Francis!
 Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise if you wish to

He really believed what Jesus said: "Announce the kingdom! Don't possess gold or silver or copper in your purses, no travelling bag, no sandals, no staff. " Large numbers followed him who wished to forsake their life of pleasure and devote themselves to serving Christ such was his effect on them. Francis' first Rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospel. He had no idea of founding an order, but once the numbers of young men began to increase, he made out a rule of life founded solely on the Gospels. He was torn between a life of prayer and preaching the Good News, and decided on the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could.
Francis closeness to Christ was such that he was given the privilege of the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, his side and his feet.
His love of nature—God’s creation

Francis was reverently in love with all natural phenomena—sun, moon, air, water, fire, flowers; his quick warm sympathies responded to all that lived.