What Are The Distinctive Characteristics Of The Spirituality Of St. Francis Of Assisi? (TOP 5 Tips)

What are the virtues of St Francis of Assisi?

  • The Virtues of St. Francis of Assisi – A Model For Sacred Artists. Other characteristics of Francis’ life are the virtues of faith and love. St. Francis understood that by praying for faith, by acting faithfully and lovingly, his spiritual muscles would be stressed, making him grow stronger in faith and love of God.


What is the spirituality of St Francis of Assisi?

Francis is known and described in his biographies, and his life – whole and complete – is in itself a spiritual practice to God. From his caring of the poor to his adoration of nature to his fervent times of prayer, all of his actions were an act of worship.

What is the essence of Franciscan spirituality?

The essence of Franciscan spirituality, then, is a focus on seeing God in everyone, especially the marginalized, and working toward protecting the integrity of all creation.

What is Carmelite spirituality?

Carmelite spirituality is first and foremost personal; the human person, through his or her self-determination, co-operates or not with God’s Will in his or her life and grows in love with God through solitude, silence, prayer, and building virtue.

What are the particular virtues or characteristics of St Francis that you would like to follow?

Tag: Franciscan Virtues The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Palermo houses sculptor Giacomo Serpotta’s (1656-1732) stucco statues, each depicting one of ten of the 16 Franciscan Virtues– Humility, Compassion, Prayer, Faithfulness, Peacemaking, Modesty, Theology, Charity, Truth, Hospitality.

What is Saint Francis of Assisi a patron saint of?

Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and environment could be viewed as the original Earth Day advocate. Francis’ devotion to God was expressed through his love for all of God’s creation.

How does the Franciscan order differ from other monastic traditions?

Well, for starters, Franciscans ARE NOT monks. They are Friars. They live active/contemplative lifestyles. Monks, like the Benedictines live within the monastery and are strictly contemplatives.

What type of religious order are the Franciscans?

Franciscan, any member of a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the early 13th century by St. Francis of Assisi. The Franciscan order is one of the four great mendicant orders of the church, and its members strive to cultivate the ideals of poverty and charity.

What did the Carmelites believe in?

The monks hoped to continue on Mount Carmel the way of life of the prophet Elijah, whom early Christian writers depicted as the founder of monasticism. The early Carmelites were hermits: they lived in separate cells or huts and observed vows of silence, seclusion, abstinence, and austerity.

Who founded the Carmelites?

Those who wish to be members of the Lay Carmelites must be practicing Catholics. They must not be members of any other Third Order or Secular Institute, except in special cases, and they must be at least 18 years of age. After a period of initial formation, candidates are accepted for profession.

How would you describe Saint Francis?

Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in Roman Catholic history. He founded the Franciscan orders, including the Poor Clares and the lay Third Order. He and St. Catherine of Siena are the patron saints of Italy, and he is also the patron saint of ecology and of animals.

What is your most significant realization on the life of St Francis?

St. Francis of Assisi was in his early 20’s when he left behind a life of riches and vanity to live a life of Truth, Love, Faith, and Humility. His story is incredibly beautiful but his love for simplicity, humility, and service is even more beautiful.

What are the qualities of St. Francis of Assisi in his call towards responsible stewardship?

He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself.

Franciscan Spirituality

Within the Catholic Church, there is a wide range of spiritual traditions to choose from. For example, we may speak about “Benedictine spirituality,” “Dominican spirituality,” or “Franciscan spirituality,” to mention a few terms. These spiritualities trace their origins back to great spiritual leaders, after whom they are often called; for example, Benedictine spirituality may be traced back to St. Benedict, among others. When it comes to spirituality, it is a distinct system, or schema, of beliefs, values, ideals, and principles that together define a particular way of approaching God and, by extension, all of life in general.

They are all descended from the same Christian lineage, and they all strive to achieve the same goal: to love as Christ loved.

Because of these variances in emphasis, each spirituality has its own set of characteristics.

The favored emphases of each spiritual school are what distinguishes it from the others.

  • Francis and has developed within the Franciscan community.
  • According to this basic paradigm, Franciscan spirituality might be described as: 1.
  • In the broad Trinitarian theology of the Church, it finds its foundation.
  • It is Christocentric, with the primary focus being on the Incarnate Jesus Christ.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • In contrast to Poverty, which is the exterior expression of minorities, Humility is the inward expression of minorities.
  • Fraternity, along with Minority, is important to the Franciscan way of existence.
  • 7.
  • Penance is a never-ending, never-ending conversion.

What are the elements that make up Franciscan Spirituality?

First and foremost, to live the gospel in accordance with the spirit of St. Francis (Articles 1,4,5,14) 2.to be converted on a continuous basis (Articles 2,4,5,7,9,12,16) 3.to live as sisters and brothers to all people and to all of creation as a way of life (Articles 13,18) Fourth, to live in connection with Christ (see Articles 1, 4, and 14). 5.to follow in the footsteps of the impoverished and crucified Christ (Article 10) To take part in the life and mission of the Church is number six (Article 6) 7.to be a part of the Father’s love for us (Articles 4, 12) 8.in order to serve as instruments of peace (Article 19) 9.to live a prayerful life that is both personal and communally liturgical (Article 8) 10.to be happy in one’s life (Article 19:2) 11.to have a spirituality that is not religious in origin (Articles 3,6,8,11,13,14) 12.to be pilgrims on the road to the Father’s house (Article 11:2) to take part in the apostolate of the laity (13).

(Articles 15,16,17,18,19,24) 14.to put one’s self at the disposal of others who are less fortunate (Articles 13,14,15) To remain devoted to the Church in a spirit of conversation and partnership with her clergy is the goal of this chapter (Article 6:2) 16.to be receptive to the working of the Holy Spirit (Articles 1, 4:2) 17.to live a life of simplicity, humility, and minoritarianism (Article 11:1) G.W.

Irving, of the Order of the British Empire

The Spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi

In contemporary discourse, the term “spirituality” can be a very slippery concept, so let me state at the outset of this brief essay that the way the term is used here is very traditional: spirituality is defined as living in the Spirit rather than living in the flesh (see Romans 8:1–17), with all of the consequences that Paul deduces from this antinomy. A distinct Trinitarian flavor to this way of life is best conveyed in the customary words of the Sign of the Cross: “I live spiritually, in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.” When it comes to spirituality, at least as it is understood in the Catholic tradition, it also indicates that there are many various ways to live one’s life in the Spirit, or to put it another way, there are many different ways to follow the One who says, “I am the Way.” Everything, from the manner of monasticism to the way of marital life, is based on the same tradition as everything else.

1 Francis of Assisi (1181?–1226) showed one way of living in the Spirit, and his life became something of a model for those who desired to learn from and be inspired by his example.

The number of pilgrims that travel to Assisi to see his grave and learn from the art and architecture that have been influenced by him has grown significantly in recent decades.

A proto-protestant, he was neither a medieval nature lover (get away, concrete statuary for sale at WalMart Garden Centers!) nor a medieval nature enthusiast.

These may be summed up in a single, fundamental proposition: Unlike the heretic movements of the time, Francis was a staunch defender of the reforms of the Fourth Lateran Council and insisted that his followers livemore catholico(“in the Catholic manner”), which included regular confession, reception of the Eucharist, affirming the honor due priests and prelates, accepting the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, preaching only with permission from bishops, and other practices.

When Pope Francis traveled to Rome to have his way of life approved by the pope, it was not a coincidence.

The question then arises, how did this completely medieval Christian become such a light inside the Christian pantheon in the first place? It is the response to that query that forms the basis of these considerations.

The Conversion(s) of Francis

Only once, in hisTestament, did St. Francis make an obviously personal statement: “The Lord permitted me, Brother Francis, to begin doing penance in this way: while I was in sin and seeing lepers seemed extremely bitter to me.” And I was guided among them by the Lord himself, and I showed compassion on them. And as I left them, what had looked bitter to me was transformed into tenderness of spirit and body; and after a little while, I remained a little longer before departing from this world.” 2 The earlylegenda contain numerous events in Francis’s life that are summarized in that laconic statement: the year he spent in prison as a teenager following an abortive war with neighboring Perugia, his wanderings on the outskirts of Assisi working manually to repair churches, and his adoption of a hermit’s garb consisting of rough clothing, simple shoes, and a staff.

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Taking up the path of penance was a normal way of life in medieval Europe, and many people did it.

So Francis went from living a worldly lifestyle to taking up the road of penance as a hermit, and eventually discovered that the “ideal” method of following Jesus was found in utter poverty.


St. Francis of Assisi was the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, often known as the Franciscans, which was established in 1226. He chose a life of poverty rather than the privilege into which he was born, in which he—and ultimately his followers—encouraged medieval villagers to accept the simplicity of the gospel and abandon their complex ways. Death, represented by a skull or a loaf of bread, is sometimes depicted alongside him as a symbol of victory over death achieved by faith in Christ, who is the Bread of Life.

  1. In the monastic way of life, the community sharing of assets had been a long-standing feature for centuries, and it was an attempt to follow the model of the ancient church portrayed in the Acts of the Apostles in its literal manifestation.
  2. That this idea of poverty should not be regarded as an economic option, but rather as a Christological one, was the most unique insight that Francis could muster.
  3. Francis desired to emulate Christ’s poverty and self-emptying.
  4. he had a deep affection for Christ’s nativity because he perceived a basic truth about the entrance of the Word into the world represented by a child being born in a barn.
  5. It was for this reason that he became so fixated on the crucifixion, because the naked Christ, dying on a cross, served as a stark contrast to the Christ’s birth in a manger.
  6. 3 Because of Christ’s humility in the Incarnation, Francis was able to see the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist through a different lens than he would have otherwise.
  7. One of the methods used by Francis to emphasize the poverty inherent in the Incarnation was the saint’s sympathy with those who were less fortunate than he.

It was for this reason that Francis addressed his adherents as “minor brothers and sisters,” separating them from themajori (“majors”), who were composed of the merchant class of his own father and aristocrats such as the family of his friend Saint Clare, as well as other nobles.

The Lesson(s) of Francis

When we look back on Francis, we should not see him through rose-colored glasses of romanticism. Intimately engaging with his life is to see a man who was consumed completely by the desire to live a radical life following Jesus—a life that radiated the profound poverty of the Incarnation and the belief that everything, from creation to our redemption, is a gift from God. We also learn another important lesson from Francis, namely that the Bible is not a book to be read, but rather a text to be done.

4 A prophetic aspect might also be seen in the life of St Francis de Sales.

He connected with the dignity of everyone created “in the image and likeness of God” when he spoke to the destitute.

He sang praises to the goodness of God’s creation to the medieval Cathars, who despised the material world; he pointed the cross at the smug pretensions of the medieval church; and he insisted that all people should be addressed as brothers and sisters, regardless of their social class or social standing.

He proved through his life that the gospel is constantly open to fresh interpretation while staying constant and ever challenging to those who engage it with real openness.

Being a Franciscan means learning the dreadful words of Jesus, who gives us simplicity, humility, poverty, and the cross in exchange for our obedience.

ENDNOTES 1. I have explored spirituality as a way of life more fully in Lawrence S. Cunningham and Keith Egan,Christian Spirituality: Themes from the Tradition(New York: Paulist, 1996).2. All quotations are fromFrancis and Clare: The Complete Works, ed. Regis Armstrong (New York: Paulist, 1982).3.Paradiso11.71–72. The French mystic Simone Weil thought those lines to be among the most beautiful in all of poetry.4. This theme of performance is more fully developed in Lawrence S. Cunningham,Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004)

This item was originally published in Theology, NewsNotes, Fall 2009, “Winds of the Spirit: Traditions of Christian Spirituality,” under the heading “Winds of the Spirit.”

The Virtues of St. Francis of Assisi – A Model For Sacred Artists

During our commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi’s memory, we must take a minute to reflect on the characteristics that drove and invigorated him throughout his life. We may begin by stating that he was a straightforward individual. He was on the lookout for simplicity. This does not imply that he possessed limited knowledge or that he sought simplicity just for its own purpose; rather, it indicates that he was successful in removing anything from his life that did not contribute to his greater understanding and love of Jesus.

  1. Francis desired simplicity was that he intuitively understood that God Himself is simple” (from a sermon by Fr.
  2. Francis’ life is also characterized by the qualities of faith and love, among other things.
  3. He was confident that if he devoted himself to this spiritual activity, God’s grace would be there to aid him.
  4. What was his reaction when he was accused?
  5. This is a scene that Michelangelo should have attempted to carve in marble.
  6. When young Francis was confronted with the Goliath of armed invasion, it was the image of a garden snake that enticed him back to the sweetness of life, la dolce vita, that struck a chord with people throughout the world.
  7. Its simple elegance would be the stone that would bring the behemoth of his own ego and worldliness crashing to the ground.

Francis died, depicted these attributes of St.

Francis at Work.

Francis and his fellow friars who would embody the virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience in their everyday lives, as well as in their writings.

What does this have to do with being an artist?

It is through his ability to integrate the concepts of activity and reflection that Giotto serves as a magnificent model for us.

When it came to depicting spiritual truths, he attained simplicity, and the world was able to see his unwavering commitment to integrating action (art) with contemplation (prayer during the creative process).

Francis brought the saint’s life to life.

Francis came to the Holy Land in the year 1219 as part of the Fifth Crusade, when he was arrested and beaten by Muslim soldiers.

Bonaventure informs us that St.

In the aftermath of the Pope’s lecture, he challenged the Sultan’s imams to a religious test in order to ascertain which of the two religions was the actual faith — Islam or Catholicism.

According to the story, “Francis requested that a bonfire be set up, and that your imam, together with me, join the fire – so that it may be that his God is the genuine God whoever emerges from the flames unharmed,” Francis declared.

His imams, on the other hand, believed that they had more important things to accomplish.

A virtue, like a physical muscle, according to theologian Dr.

Francis demonstrates to us, faith and love, prayer and service are the primary muscles in our spiritual body, and for artists, they are the virtues that help us maintain a healthy sense of balance in our life.

The life of St.

We should be inspired by Francis’s willingness to collaborate with the mercy of God and allow himself to be moulded by the Divine Artist Himself; may we all be as daring in our willingness to do the same.

Francis of Assisi: A Nice Man or a Soldier of Christ–Copyright 2011- 2021, Deacon, which is available here.

Iacono. A request for permission to republish must be made to the author through a remark on this blog post’s comment area. Students and anyone who are interested in the material may quote tiny chunks of it as long as the necessary credit and notice is provided to the author. Thank you very much.

St. Francis of Assisi and Franciscan Theology

Francis of Assisi is a well-known Catholic saint who is internationally adored and appreciated by people of all religions. He is also known as the “Father of the World.” “St. Francis of Assisi is a saint of peace,” Pope Francis said. “He is a saint of the poor, a saint who is respectful of each person’s God-given uniqueness, and an extraordinary saint who has a deep love for all of God’s creations.” When you hear the name St. Francis, what is the first thing that springs to mind? Possibly you think of animals, a birdbath, or a garden statue of him that you recall from when you were younger.

All of these photos provide insights into the tradition that we refer to as “Franciscan” in nature.

Saint Francis was a counter-cultural figure throughout his lifetime, continually challenging conventional societal standards, serving as an example of social justice, and living out his Christ-centered faith by being present to each person and creature he encountered.

This approach to faith and theology has the potential to impact one’s entire life, and it has the potential to influence how we present ourselves in the job, the marketplace, and even the home.

The Franciscan Difference – A Framework For Addressing Today’s Needs

It is necessary to begin with a fundamental knowledge of Franciscan theology in order to have a true appreciation for the breadth and depth of the Franciscan tradition. When it comes to theology and spirituality, how can one unpack centuries of tradition? A Franciscan Language for the Twenty-First Century is a literary article written by one of our instructors, William Short OFM (Brother Bill), in which he explains that “given here are a few essential components of the Franciscan intellectual heritage.” While there has been significant variety and change in these fundamental premises of Franciscan thinking throughout the course of history, they can be called recurring themes as our intellectual legacy has grown in many cultures at various times and locations.” The following are some of Short’s pillars: “The Human Person as Divine Image,” “All Creation in the Incarnate Word,” “Community Is Divine,” “Christ at the Center of Reality,” and finally, “Generosity and Poverty of God.” We can gain a clearer understanding of the abundance and significance of the long-standing tradition of Franciscan Theology by using Short’s paradigm.

The relevance of Franciscan Theology has never been greater than it is now, even in our complicated and always changing world. The next section provides a more in-depth examination and explanation of Short’s theological conceptual framework.

Human Person as Divine Image

According to Short, the notion of “Human Individual as Divine Image” illuminates “some of the reasons for St. Francis’ respectful treatment of every person he encountered,” including himself. Individuals were made in the image of God, according to St. Francis’ teachings. Short asserted that “our humanity does not divide us from God, but rather ties us to God, who decided to become human in Jesus as a result of his extravagant love for us.” When we have such a strong conviction in the worth of other people’s humanity, it has a long-lasting influence on how we regard others and how we interact with our neighbors, strangers, and the general public.

All Creation in the Incarnate Word

As Short adds, “Francis talks of all creation, from celestial entities to earthy components, as brother or sister to him… all was produced via the Word; everything was created for the Word; all was created in the Word; and in Christ that Word took on flesh, that is, the creative divine Word took on the shape of physical substance, embodied ‘Incarnate’.” This vision of the cosmos, the attention we provide to our surrounds, the attention and value we offer to our own care, and the attention we give to our environment are all inextricably tied to the ideals maintained in the Franciscan tradition and the significance of our respect for the world.

One can only imagine the enduring impact implementing such beliefs may have on our communities.

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Community Is Divine

“Francis speaks of all creation, from celestial bodies to earthy components, as if it were his brother or sister,” Short adds. ‘Everything was produced via the Word; everything was created for and for the Word; everything was created by the Word; and in Christ, that Word took on flesh; that is, the creative divine Word took on the shape of physical substance, and was embodied as the ‘Incarnate’.” This view of the universe, the attention we pay to our surroundings, the attention and value we place on our own care, and the attention we give to our environment are all intrinsically linked to the values held by the Franciscan tradition and the importance of our respect for the rest of the world, according to the Franciscan tradition.

One can only imagine the long-term impact that implementing such principles may have on our communities.

Christ at the Heart of Reality

The Franciscan School of Theology offers an alternate interpretation of the “why” of Christ’s resurrection for the benefit of humanity. The Franciscan position, according to Short, “emphasizes the love of God, enfleshed in Christ, as the center of reality,” as opposed to certain theologies that emphasize Christ’s coming to redeem the world from our sins. “Christ came into this physical world because the divine Trinitarian communion of individuals desired to express divine Word, and that Word came to participate in the life of the cosmos as a created creature,” writes Short.

This “alternative evangelism,” according to Short, “shows a God who stands in solidarity with human suffering out of compassion, rather than a God who demands the sacrifice of victims.” The emphasis is not on combating sin, but rather on offering life.” According to this perspective, the Trinity is viewed as a loving Father and a supporting brother, rather than as a fair and harsh God.

Generosity, Poverty of God

“From its foundation, our tradition has not shied away from the world of industry and commerce, but has attempted to engage it in policy change and the promotion of ethical behaviors,” writes Short. “Franciscan economics” is based on the belief that everything is a gift from God, which is emphasized throughout the book. As a result, “poor” is defined as one’s inability to stop giving. That giving is what acts as our expression of gratitude to God for our gifts and benefits, and it also serves to enrich one’s own life.

Franciscans have traditionally taken a stance against long-standing social conventions in the name of the common good.

Finding and Calling Upon St. Francis in Today’s World

Discuss the effect of St. Francis’ personal experience of faith and the theological tradition that sprang up around him hundreds of years ago, and consider the various implications to today’s issues and predicaments that might be drawn from these two perspectives. A key aspect of Franciscan living is being in the present. It focuses not just on the heart and mind, but also on showing up and being present, and sometimes that showing up takes the form of physical activity. Sometimes, though, showing up takes the form of giving testimony.

  1. Francis’ life, he encourages us to be present in our relationships with one another, with the natural world, and with all of creation as a whole.
  2. This may prompt some of us to take action and create a positive difference in our lives.
  3. How can one even begin when there are so many concerns, conflicts, and crises in place?
  4. With our thoughts on the pillars described above, we may continue to address the following issues in transformational and meaningful ways, including in areas such as:
  • Providing assistance to individuals in need within our community
  • Taking compassionate action in our everyday lives, at work, with our families, and in our communities
  • Attending to, being courteous to, and being interested about everything we encounter, including those with whom we disagree
  • Being conscious of global warming and how it will effect us, our brothers and sisters, as well as our fellow humans
  • Understanding the economic policies that have an influence on our global environment
  • Learning about international relations that are centered on the dignity of humanity, equality, and variety
  • A greater comprehension of human suffering is preferred above “a God who requires the sacrifice of victims.”

“We are heirs to an intellectual inheritance that spans generations, with a worldview that may provide creative replies to challenges raised in our culture and Church today,” as Brother Bill puts it so brilliantly. We have resources to share, and we have a responsibility to share them with others who are looking for ‘good news’ in this day and age,” she says. St. Francis is considered to be the patron saint of animals and the environment. The extent of his commitment to God, on the other hand, was manifested in his profound love for the whole human race as well as for the entirety of God’s creation.

His example inspires us to strive for more.

Francis will help us to keep ever alive a sense of fraternity with all those good and beautiful things in which the almighty God has created,” Pope John Paul II said in his celebration of the World Day of Peace: “It is my hope that the inspiration of St.

About This Piece

The feast day of St. Francis of Assisi is celebrated on October 4, which is a Sunday. St. Francis of Assisi is a light of hope for all who seek to know Our Father, Christ, and the Holy Trinity. Following is a series of essays that tell the story of how this beacon reached out to certain folks. Each narrative is distinct, and each interaction is one-of-a-kind. As we commemorate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the following reflections from Franciscan School of Theology graduates emphasize the profound influence that St.

More information may be found by visiting the websites provided below.


St. Francis of Assisi and Franciscan Theology (Piece 1) Derek John Thomas’s Piece 2 – Finding and Relating to St. Francis – is available online. Asher Marron’s “Piece 3” is titled “God’s Timing and The Franciscan Calling.” Jeff Durham’s fourth piece, Franciscan Spirituality in the Modern World, is available online.


The Franciscan School of Theology, in collaboration with the University of San Diego, offers an online Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology (MTS-FT) degree program in Franciscan theology. It is aimed for working professionals as well as recent undergraduates. Students in the online MTS-FT program learn from famous academics who rely on their own experiences of active service in parishes, schools, and community participation to impart their knowledge. A unique online curriculum, this one employs religious studies to effect good change in local and global communities, as well as in the workplace.

Franciscan Spirituality

Throughout his life, St. Francis preached the gospel of compassion and care for the environment, while also living in solidarity with the poor. His prayer life also included months in the hilly mountains above Assisi, where he spent most of his time in serious thought, frequently in caves and abandoned locations.

Franciscan Theology and Philosophy

Franciscan methods of perceiving God and God’s work in history have always been consistent with other areas of Christian theology, while also containing a distinct set of emphases that are unique to Franciscan theology. St. Francis and Franciscan thinkers lived, taught, and wrote about the many ways that creation is wonderful and that the life we have been given is a joyful chance, in contrast to how Christianity has frequently overemphasized “the stain of original sin.” In his internationally renowned book, “The Franciscan Method,” Fr.

The Franciscan focus on the kindness of God and the beauty of creation has a wide range of repercussions.

Because God’s love for us and the beauty of his creation are revealed to us, Franciscans refer to creation as “the mirror of God” and believe that God has two books of creation—Sacred Scripture and creation—creation serves as a witness to our salvation.

God became born not because the world is full of sin, but rather in order to convert the world into a communion of love centered in Christ, as the Word of God explains.

John Duns Scotus (c. 1266–1308) stated that the Incarnation had been planned from the beginning, with creation serving as a prologue to the far more complete display of divine kindness that would occur in the Incarnation.

Franciscan Consciousness

We may perceive the world from a new point of view if we adopt a more positive attitude toward God and the universe. Francis and the Franciscans were inspired by their experiences to revere the world around them and to praise God as a result of their observations. They did not divide the world into two categories: the profane and the sacred; instead, they saw God in the dirt and the worms, in the agony of life, and in the leper. According to Sr. Ilia Delio, a Franciscan way of seeing moves us away from categorizing the world into good and bad, which is “always capable of identifying God’s absence, but rarely consistent in affirming God’s presence in everything that exists.” Frances was able to perceive God embedded in a magnificently interwoven universe, with God serving as the source of each and every one of its constituent parts.

Franciscan Way of Living

In general, the Franciscan style of life aims to live with the understanding that all of creation is a place where God can be encountered. Concrete expressions include living more simply on the earth and with other people in order to genuinely appreciate and savor God’s gift of life to the fullest extent possible. The objects of this world are God-like in and of themselves, and their distinctiveness exposes God to us as we experience them. So that we might strengthen our relationship with God, we must maintain regular and attentive touch with the world in its most basic and humble state.

The universe is full with indicators of God’s presence, and God communicates with us via the many bits and pieces that we come across during the course of a day.

Thomas of Celano, Francis’ earliest biographer, defines Francis’ style of life as follows: “Who could possibly explain the tremendous affection Francis held for all things that belonged to God?” Or who would be able to talk of the beautiful sensitivity he felt while pondering the wisdom, strength, and kindness of the Creator in the animals he encountered?

Franciscan Beliefs, Spirituality, and Philosophy

There will be some of my Franciscan sisters and brothers who will be offended by what I’m going to write. And because what I’m going to say may be misconstrued, I’ll make every effort to be as clear as possible: Contrary to common assumption, the ideas and spirituality of the Franciscans are not particularly distinctive! My viewpoint on the Franciscan tradition occasionally comes out when I’m speaking to groups that have invited me to offer insights about the tradition, people who I assume will be looking forward to the “sell,” “hook,” or other distinguishing quality of Franciscan prayer and living that I will reveal.

  • It is true that the Jesuits and Benedictines have their Ignatian Exercises and Examen, that the Trappists have their solitude and contemplation, that the Dominicans have their scholarly preaching, and so on, but what do the Franciscans have that the other religious orders do not?
  • That is all there is to it.
  • Benedict, or the Order of Preachers do not have access to the Gospel; without a doubt, all of these organizations do.
  • According to Francis of Assisi, his Rule, or way of life, for the Franciscan friars begins with the following line: “The Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to keep Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ in mind at all times.” It appears to be straightforward.
  • This is not a mandate that applies only to friars, however.
  • The simple act of living the Gospel was both the beginning and the conclusion of the manner of life that Francis envisioned.
  • This helps to explain why the Franciscancharism does not have any specific ministry or apostolate attached with it, as opposed to other religions.
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Francis makes no mention of the fact that individuals who would follow him should have the priority of serving in hospitals, staffing local parishes, serving as missionaries, facilitating retreats, or teaching at major research institutions, as he did.

Francis envisioned his brothers living together, praying together, supporting one another as if they were members of one family, and working in the world alongside and among ordinary members of society.

Or to put it another way, the central theme of Franciscan spirituality is the universal call to holiness received by all women and men at their baptism.

It has been my experience that the simplicity of this message is often difficult to embrace because it is so obvious.

It is hard to limit Franciscan spirituality to a single idea, let alone to a list of bullet points, which is why I feel it is both appealing to a large number of people yet practically impossible to describe in terms of distinctiveness in its most authentic form.

The fact that he is a Jesuit is not incompatible with his Franciscan viewpoint since, as previously indicated, the baptismal vocation lies at the heart of this spirituality’s foundation.

They are unmistakable and immediate reminders of the Gospel way of living.


Francis of Assisi, but it appears to me that we may all nurture Franciscan hearts that are receptive to what Pope Francis refers to as the “Joy of the Gospel.” In this not-so-exceptional spirituality, we are invited to build relationships with all people, to collaborate with our brothers and sisters in our everyday lives, and to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

On second thinking, perhaps this is something truly unique after all.


In a few days, we will commemorate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is widely regarded as one of the most famous Saints in our Catholic tradition. As we all know, during his boyhood and adolescence, he enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle since his family had all of the resources they required to live a “decent life.” In his understanding of life, St. Francis saw that happiness might be found in other ways than via financial possessions. To him, happiness could only be achieved in a simple life, one in which the person of Jesus Christ might be discovered in poverty and simplicity.

  • He put behind his affluent lifestyle and decided to live a more humble existence.
  • Francis of Assisi, not only because I was ordained as a priest in a Church named after Him in Wanaque, but also because I believe the image of St.
  • When it comes to following in the footsteps of the Lord, his commitment to the Eucharist, his knowledge of the priesthood, and his tremendous love for creation are all things we should strive to emulate in him.
  • Francis taught all of his followers the necessity of receiving Christ’s Body and Blood as spiritual sustenance, because it is the nutrition that we all require in order to contribute to the establishment of God’s kingdom.
  • “With the exception of his Body and Blood, there is nothing of the Most High himself that we may hold or examine with our eyes in this world,” St.
  • As we all know, humility is at the heart of Franciscan spirituality, and Francis teaches us through his words and actions that only a humble and penitent spirit is worthy of receiving a gift as important as the Eucharist.
  • Throughout his life, St.

He realized that it was via their consecrated hands, despite the fact that they were sinners, that the Body and Blood of Jesus were made available to all as spiritual sustenance for all.

Francis was as competent as anybody else to be ordained a priest, but he was never given the opportunity.

Our understanding of the priesthood and what it means for our Holy Church is further enhanced as a result of this.

Throughout his life, St.

He realized that all he had was a gift from the Almighty.

Francis to thank and adore God for the gift of their existence, which he described as “a gift from God to everyone.” He realized that we are all lucky to be a part of God’s wonderful creation.

We must thus treat it with love and respect in order to maintain its health.

Francis and his affinity with animals, which is worth telling.

It informs us that the birds stayed with him while he walked among them, and that they only departed when he indicated it was safe for them to do so (verse 2).

Francis of Assisi is a good model for all of us who are members of the Church.

Although we may think of St.

As a result, I would like to ask you, as members of our church, to incorporate his lovely prayer in your daily prayer practice as you become more aware of the urgent need for peace and love across the globe. EVERYONE HAS A BLESSED FEAST! — The Reverend Father Manuel

Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi

Francis of Assisi (1182 – 1226) is arguably the most well-known and revered Christian saint of all time. A light of hope for those seeking a life of meaning and service, his dazzling soul shines brightly. Placing St. Francis on a pedestal is counterproductive; rather, we should travel with him along a road of peace, openness, spirituality, poverty, reverence for environment, and love of animals. There are a plethora of spiritual materials available to learn more about his incredible life and spiritual practices.

Robert Lentz, OFM, created an icon of St.

Spiritual Practices is the name of the day this year.

  • Thank you for your assistance. “My God and my everything!” are the words of St. Francis that can be used as a sacred prayer that can be repeated throughout the day.
  • Look for a church in your area that celebrates the Blessing of the Animals on November 1. On Sunday, several churches will have a special period set aside during the service. Bring your pets (or photographs of them) to the service and remember St. Francis’s compassion for all living things as you participate in it. Alternately, you might provide your own service and encourage your friends to participate. A recent example, constructed by Bear Ride for the Pilgrim Place neighborhood in Claremont, California, is seen below.
  • Spend some quality time in the company of a furry friend or companion. Adapted fromLiving the Wisdom of St. Francis, the following is an account of how St. Francis communed with a bird: “When Saint Francis was going to sit down to lunch with Brother Leo, he was surprised and happy to hear a nightingale singing in the distance. As a result, he recommended to his buddy that they join in with the bird in singing thanks to God on alternating days. While Leo was pleading with Francis that he was not a singer, Francis elevated his voice and began to sing his duet with the nightingale, word after phrase “in addition to this, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]
  • The Spirituality of St. Francis, an online course by Jon M. Sweeney, takes you on a spiritual journey to discover how the spirit of Francis of Assisi has the ability to free our lives today.


Watch the filmBrother Sun, Sister Moon, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, which is available on Netflix. It tells the story of St. Francis’s early life and ministry.


  • Wayne Simsic’s book, Living the Wisdom of St. Francis, is available now. According to the author, the small poor man of Assisi provides us with a new awareness, a new practice, and a new view of the world. He delves into St. Francis’ spiritual practice of compassion, which was founded on civility and regard for all living things.
  • Give the Wolfby something to eat. Jon M. Sweeney is an American author. Throughout this practice-oriented exploration of living with nothing to lose, there is a gentle, understanding, multifaith wisdom that permeates chapters on topics such as living simply, refusing power, spending time in nature, using words carefully, learning to dance, setting up a big table for the neighbors, and more.
  • Jon M. Sweeney’s painting of St. Francis of Assisi. In addition to a chronology and a brief biography, this fundamental resource on the way of life established by the most popular of the Christian saints includes Francis’ prayers, hymns, poetry, letters, oral teachings, Rule of Life, and spiritual practices
  • And a list of Francis’s writings.
  • The Ecstasies of St. Francis: The Way of Lady Poverty, written by John Ryan Haule, is a book on the spiritual journey of St. Francis. The author describes how this saint advocated for a dramatic reversal of priorities, putting the focus on kindness and reliance on God’s mercy rather than on material possessions. Additionally, he considers St. Francis’ amazing connection with the natural world, as well as his intimacy with animals, who were able to perceive his internal calm and generosity.
  • A Proposal for the Liberation of Humanity “An exemplar of the human ideal: open to God, universal brother, and caretaker of nature and Mother Earth,” writes Leonardo Boff of this saint, who is described as “an archetype of the human ideal: open to God, universal brother, and caregiver of nature and Mother Earth.” Over the course of five sections, Boff examines his life and discovers a model of gentleness and care, his preference for the poor, his emancipation through goodness and service to others, his establishment of a popular church, and his absorption of the negative.
  • Richard Rohr and John Bookser Feister wrote a book called Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety in which St. Francis is shown as a heroic saint whose life is one extended lesson in the art of rebuilding. The phrase “Let us begin anew” was one of his campaign themes. “Let us begin again since up to now we have done nothing,” he said.
  • In the spirit of Saint Francis’s prayer, make me an instrument of your peace by living your life. Kent Nerburn is the author of this piece. Fourteen studies examine the subjects of the 14 lines of the renowned prayer attributed to the Middle Ages saint, which are presented in the form of 14 essays. If we are to follow in Nerburn’s footsteps, love must become a habit of our hearts, an inclination of the Spirit
  • If we are to follow in his footsteps, love must become a habit of our hearts, an inclination of the Spirit.
  • A Personal Encounter with Francis and Clare at Assisi: The Sun and the Moon Over the City St. Francis and his good companion St. Clare are both featured in a book by Gerard Thomas Straub in which the author considers the mysteries of prayer, poverty, quiet, and isolation as they are reflected in their lives
  • Edward Hays’s The Passionate Troubadour: A Medieval Novel about Francis of Assisi is a medieval novel about Francis of Assisi. In saluting this saint of the peripheries, it is radical, daring, and sincere in its sentiments. Among Francis’ many attributes is his role as a precursor of an inclusive, global spirituality that celebrates all persons who travel with integrity along their own distinctive path.
  • The St. Francis Prayer Book: A Guide to Deepening Your Spiritual Life by Jon M. Sweeney is a book on the life of St. Francis. This book, which draws on a variety of sources, assists us in tapping into the spirit of Francis’s spiritual life via a weekly liturgy that emphasizes a different subject for each day, such as love for all animals or peace and care in human relationships. “Now, wherever we are, and in every place, and at every hour, throughout each time of each day, may all of us honestly and humbly believe, holding in our heartsto love, honor, adore, serve, praise, bless, glorify, exalt, magnify, and give thanksto the Most High and Eternal God, the Trinity, and the Unity. ” Amen

Video Clips

The account of how St. Francis assisted the little Italian town of Gubbio in dealing with a wolf is told in this video clip.

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