Home » Posts tagged 'St. Francis of Assisi'

Sesquicentennial Pilgrimage April 16-26, 2018

By

Dialog Editor

 

Diocesan pilgrims will stop at Annecy, Rome, Assisi

 

Frankly speaking, the Diocese of Wilmington’s 150th Anniversary Pilgrimage to Annecy and Rome next spring will be all about Francis. Four leaders of the church named Francis, that is, will highlight the journey — Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Pope Francis, St. Francis de Sales and St. Francis of Assisi.

Bishop Malooly will lead the diocesan pilgrimage from April 16-26 next year starting in Annecy, France, where Francis de Sales, the patron saint of the diocese, ministered. Read more »

Comments Off on Sesquicentennial Pilgrimage April 16-26, 2018

Forgive others and find peace, Pope Francis says at Assisi

By

ASSISI, Italy — Celebrating how God’s mercy has been experienced for 800 years in a tiny stone church in Assisi, Pope Francis said people need to experience God’s forgiveness and start learning how to forgive others.

Pope Francis enters the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, Italy, Aug. 4. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis enters the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, Italy, Aug. 4. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

“Too many people are caught up in resentment and harbor hatred because they are incapable of forgiving. They ruin their own lives and the lives of those around them rather than finding the joy of serenity and peace,” the pope said Aug. 4 during an afternoon visit to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels.

Before speaking about the importance of confession and forgiveness, Pope Francis set a bouquet of red and white roses on the altar and prayed silently for 10 minutes in the Portiuncola, a stone chapel in the middle of the basilica.

The abandoned ninth-century Benedictine chapel was entrusted to St. Francis of Assisi in the early 1200s. When St. Francis felt God calling him to rebuild the church, he first thought he meant the little chapel.

St. Francis restored the chapel in 1207 and two years later he founded his religious order there. The chapel is so important to the Franciscan family that when it was time to build a larger church, the new basilica was built around the chapel, leaving it intact.

But the reason Pope Francis visited Aug. 4 and the reason thousands travel there each August is the “Pardon of Assisi,” a plenary indulgence offered to visitors who are sincerely sorry for their sins, go to confession, receive the Eucharist, recite the Creed and pray for the intentions of the pope as a sign of their unity with the church.

In Franciscan history, it was God who authorized St. Francis to offer the Assisi indulgence, a reduction of the punishment one rightly should endure because of sins committed. Kneeling in prayer, St. Francis asked the Lord to grant full pardon to those who came to the Portiuncola and confessed their sins. The Lord agreed. The next day, Aug. 2, 1216, Pope Honorius III agreed.

Although it was not written in the pope’s prepared text or mentioned in the Vatican schedule for the visit, Pope Francis ended his talk in Assisi asking the Franciscan friars and bishops present to go to one of the confessionals and be available to offer the sacrament of reconciliation. He put on a purple stole and heard confessions before making his scheduled visit to Franciscans in the nearby infirmary.

Earlier, Pope Francis told those gathered before the Portiuncola that St. Francis could ask for nothing greater than “the gift of salvation, eternal life and unending joy” for the townsfolk of Assisi.

“Forgiveness, pardon, is surely our direct route to that place in heaven” that Jesus promised his followers, the pope said. “What a great gift the Lord has given us in teaching us to forgive and, in this way, to touch the Father’s mercy.”

In his brief remarks, Pope Francis offered a reflection on the parable of “the unforgiving servant” from St. Matthew’s Gospel.

Like that servant, the pope said, many Christians feel they have a debt to God that they can never repay. “When we kneel before the priest in the confessional, we do exactly what that servant did. We say, ‘Lord, have patience with me.’”

And the Lord does, he said. Over and over again people confess the same sins and each time, God forgives them.

“The problem, unfortunately, comes whenever we have to deal with a brother or sister who has even slightly offended us,” Pope Francis said.

Again, many people act like the servant in the parable who, after pleading for leniency, goes to those who owe him and demand they pay immediately.

“Here we encounter all the drama of our human relationships,” the pope said. “When we are indebted to others, we expect mercy; but when others are indebted to us, we demand justice.

“This is a reaction unworthy of Christ’s disciples and is not the sign of a Christian style of life,” Pope Francis said. “Jesus teaches us to forgive and to do so without limit.”

God’s forgiveness is “like a caress,” he said, “so different from the gesture” of a threatening fist accompanied by the words, “You’ll pay for that.”

The pardon St. Francis preached at the Portiuncola, Pope Francis said, is as necessary as ever.

“In this Holy Year of Mercy, it becomes ever clearer that the path of forgiveness can truly renew the church and the world,” he said. “To offer today’s world the witness of mercy is a task from which none of us can feel exempt.”

Comments Off on Forgive others and find peace, Pope Francis says at Assisi

Forgive others and find peace, Pope Francis says at Assisi

By

 

ASSISI, Italy — Celebrating how God’s mercy has been experienced for 800 years in a tiny stone church in Assisi, Pope Francis said people need to experience God’s forgiveness and start learning how to forgive others. Read more »

Comments Off on Forgive others and find peace, Pope Francis says at Assisi

Book review: History a refreshing departure from overly pious views of St. Francis

By

Catholic News Service
“The Enthusiast: How the Best Friend of Francis of Assisi Almost Destroyed What He Started” by Jon M. Sweeney. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Indiana, 2016). 291 pp., $18.95.
St. Francis of Assisi had a few rough edges, according to Jon Sweeney, who rejects the common practice of making him too saintly.
First, the strong, public and repeated disobedience to his father, so frequently romanticized by the saint’s admirers, amounts to a “flaunting disregard for the fourth commandment,” according to Sweeney. Readers might see parallels here with Martin Luther’s paternal conflict, a relationship much maligned by Catholics over the centuries. Read more »

Comments Off on Book review: History a refreshing departure from overly pious views of St. Francis

Pope Francis makes surprise visit to Nativity scene’s birthplace

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the place where his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, created the world’s first Nativity scene.

“He wanted to visit the sanctuary and places where St. Francis, on Christmas Eve in 1223, represented the first living Nativity in history,” Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti told ANSA, the Italian news agency.

Pope Francis prays in front of a Nativity scene during a Jan. 4 surprise visit to the  Franciscan shrine in Greccio, Italy. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout via EPA)

Pope Francis prays in front of a Nativity scene during a Jan. 4 surprise visit to the Franciscan shrine in Greccio, Italy. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano, handout via EPA)

The pope had nothing listed on his official schedule, and so he used the free day to visit the Franciscan shrine in Greccio, a town 60 miles northeast of Rome and 56 miles south of Assisi.

The bishop said he and the shrine’s prior were the only people informed a few days ahead of time of the pope’s plans to make the Jan. 4 visit.

As the pope arrived in a blue Ford Focus accompanied by two plainclothes security guards, the shrine’s guardian said he was caught completely off guard. “I didn’t even have my habit on and I quickly went to the refectory to put it on. Then I opened the gate for the pope,” Franciscan Father Alfredo Silvestri told the Italian bishops’ TV2000.

The pope also made an unannounced stop at a local youth meeting organized by the diocese. Amid loud cheers and chants of “Francesco,” some participants were moved to tears.

The pope told the some 150 young people that their bishop had told him it would be a good idea to pray at Greccio during the Christmas season. “So I came to pray. But I won’t say what white lie he used to lure me here,” the pope joked.

In impromptu remarks, the pope told them to reflect on two important signs associated with Christ’s birth: the star of Bethlehem and the baby in a manger.

“The sky is full of stars, isn’t it? But there is one that is special,” the star that inspired the Three Wise Men to leave everything behind and begin a journey into the unknown, he said.

The pope asked the young people to be on the lookout in their own lives for a “special star that calls us to do something greater, to strike out on a journey, to make a decision.”

“We have to ask for this grace of discovering ‘the star’ that God today wants to show me because that star will lead me to Jesus,” he said.

The second sign, which the angels tell the shepherds about, is a baby born in a manger, he said.

This shows, the pope said, how “God lowered himself, obliterated himself to be like us, to walk before us, but with smallness, that is, you can say, humility, which goes against pride, self-importance, arrogance.”

The pope asked them to think about whether their own lives were “meek, humble, (one) that doesn’t turn up its nose, that isn’t full of pride.”

The Three Wise Men were very smart “because they let themselves be led by the star. All the splendor of Herod’s huge palace” did not fool them because they were able to sense right away that the promised king they were looking for was not there, the pope said.

He told the young people he hoped their lives would always be guided by these two signs, two gifts from God. He asked they always have that star that will guide them and “the humility to rediscover Jesus in the little ones, the humble, the poor, in those who are a cast off by society and from our own life.”

Comments Off on Pope Francis makes surprise visit to Nativity scene’s birthplace

St. Francis of Assisi’s ‘Canticle of the Creatures’

June 25th, 2015 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

By

 

The following is a translated version of St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Creatures,” also known as “Canticle of the Sun,” a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi that Pope Francis alludes to in the title of his new encyclical “Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home.” The Vatican text of the encyclical does not include the translation Pope Francis quotes.

Read more »

Comments Off on St. Francis of Assisi’s ‘Canticle of the Creatures’

Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment to be released June 18

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Sii” (Praised Be), a line from St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of Creatures,” will be released June 18, the Vatican press office announced.

The name of Pope Francis' forthcoming encyclical on the environment "Laudato Sii," (Praised Be) takes its name from the St. Francis of Assisi prayer "Canticle of Creatures." St. Francis of Assisi is depicted in this detail from "Madonna Enthroned with the Child, St. Francis and four Angels," a fresco executed by Giovanni Cimabue between 1278-80, in the lower church of the Basilica of St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy.(CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

The name of Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment “Laudato Sii,” (Praised Be) takes its name from the St. Francis of Assisi prayer “Canticle of Creatures.” St. Francis of Assisi is depicted in this detail from “Madonna Enthroned with the Child, St. Francis and four Angels,” a fresco executed by Giovanni Cimabue between 1278-80, in the lower church of the Basilica of St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy.(CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

“The date foreseen for the publication of the encyclical of the pope is Thursday, June 18,” said the statement released June 4.

The head of the Vatican publishing house, Salesian Father Giuseppe Costa, had told reporters in Naples May 30 that publishers from around the world had been asking for the rights to reprint “Laudato Sii” when it is released in mid-June.

“Laudato sii” is the introductory phrase to eight verses of St. Francis of Assisi’s famous prayer thanking God for the gifts of creation.

“Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day, and through whom you give us light,” one of the first lines says.

The prayer also praises God for the gifts of “Sister Moon,” “Brother Wind,” “Sister Water,” “Brother Fire” and “Sister Mother Earth.”

 

Comments Off on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment to be released June 18

Pope shares St. Francis’ opinion of money, says people must come first

By

Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY —Profit must never be a Christian’s god, although it is one of the tools for measuring the effectiveness of business choices and the ability of a company to help workers feed their families, Pope Francis said.

St. Francis of Assisi (depicted in this fresco at Assisi) once said that "money is the devil's dung." Pope Francis used that quote this week to warn that "when money become an idol, it dictates people's choices."  (CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

St. Francis of Assisi (depicted in this fresco at Assisi) once said that “money is the devil’s dung.” Pope Francis used that quote this week to warn that “when money become an idol, it dictates people’s choices.” (CNS photo/Octavio Duran)

“Money is the devil’s dung,” the pope said Feb. 28, quoting St. Francis of Assisi. “When money becomes an idol, it dictates people’s choices.” Meeting with members of an Italian association of Catholic farm, credit, housing and shopping cooperatives, the pope urged the co-ops to remain true to their original inspiration of modeling an economy where the needs of the human person are the absolute priority and where sharing and solidarity are at the center of the business model. When unemployment rates are high and there are long “lines of people looking for work,” he said, workers are easily exploited. They will accept long hours for low pay, knowing that if they don’t they will be told, “If you don’t like it, someone else will.” “Hunger makes us accept whatever is given,” even a job that pays under the table, the pope said. Italy’s birthrate has been declining for 50 years, leading many government and church officials to raise an alarm about the financial risks associated with a steady growth in the number of retired people and the shrinking pool of people working and paying taxes. Pope Francis told the Catholic cooperatives that supporting and “even encouraging family life” must be part of their mission in serving their members and influencing the economy. “An economy can never be renewed in a society that is aging instead of growing,” he said. In addition, he said, “to help women fully realize their vocations and allow their talents to bear fruit” and to help them be “protagonists in companies as well as in the family,” the work world must include greater flexibility and services, such as childcare. Cooperatives and anyone truly concerned about the human person and the economy’s impact on individuals and families, he said, must keep in mind the “dizzying increase in unemployed people, the constant tears of the poor” and the need for development that provides jobs and an income while protecting human dignity and ensuring access to health care and a future pension. Pope Francis asked the Catholic cooperatives to solidify their original ties with Catholic parishes and dioceses, but also to look for ways to work with other cooperatives to expand their reach, involve more people and discover new areas where co-ops could meet social and economic needs. “It is a real mission,” he told them, a mission that “calls for a creative imagination to find new forms, methods, attitudes and instruments to combat the ‘throwaway culture’ in which we live, the ‘throwaway culture’ cultivated by the powers that prop up the economic-financial policies of the globalized world where the god money is at the center.” The predominant free market economic model is not working, the pope said; cooperatives need profits to survive, but they must ensure profits do not become an exclusive goal. Catholic co-ops cannot be like “certain forms of liberalism” that believe “it is necessary first of all to produce wealth, and it doesn’t matter how, and then to promote some redistribution policies on the part of the state,” the pope said. He described that approach as being one of “first filling up the glass, then giving to others.” “Others think that companies themselves must share crumbs from the wealth they accumulate, absolving themselves in that way from their so-called social responsibility,” he said. “They run the risk of thinking they are doing good when, unfortunately, they are just doing an exercise in marketing without breaking the fatal cycle of people and businesses who are focused on the god money.”

Comments Off on Pope shares St. Francis’ opinion of money, says people must come first

Pets take center stage at St. Anthony School’s blessing of the animals

By

Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – A few dozen dogs, a turtle and a hermit crab were the guests of honor at a ceremony at St. Anthony of Padua School earlier this month. The creatures, family pets of the students, gathered Oct. 3 at Father Tucker Field for the blessing of the animals, held in honor of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Oblate Father Nick Waseline, pastor of St. Anthony’s, read a few prayers before walking around the field sprinkling the pets (and their owners) with holy water. Many students whose family has pets that could not attend held up drawings of their animals to be blessed.

The dogs didn’t seem to notice the priest walking around, but they reveled in all the attention the students paid. Students, teachers, parents and several recent St. Anthony’s graduates who returned for the prayer service enjoyed the spring-like temperatures.

Oblate Father Nick Waseline, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wilmington, blesses one of the pets brought to Father Tucker Field for the parish school's annual blessing of the animals on Friday. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Oblate Father Nick Waseline, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wilmington, blesses one of the pets brought to Father Tucker Field for the parish school’s annual blessing of the animals on Friday. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Comments Off on Pets take center stage at St. Anthony School’s blessing of the animals
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.