Tag Archives: St Francis

In the steps of St Francis

Pope Francis concluded Wednesday’s general audience in St Peter’s Square in Rome by kissing a man covered in growths and joining him in prayer.

Photos of the pontiff embracing the severely disfigured man have gone viral online, with commenters praising the pope for his compassion and kindness.

In Italian press, the pope has drawn comparisons to his illustrious namesake, St Francis of Assisi – a revered 13th century holy figure, who according to legend kissed a leper he had encountered on a road after receiving a message from God.

Act of kindness: Pope Francis (left) comforts a man covered in boils in Saint Peter's Square at the end of his General Audience in Vatican City

Act of kindness: Pope Francis (left) comforts a man covered in boils in Saint Peter’s Square at the end of his General Audience in Vatican City



Touching moment: The pontiff kissed the worshiper, who suffers from a rare disease called neurofibromatosis, which is genetic and not contagious

Images of Pope Francis comforting the ailing worshiper were taken at the end of the general audience Wednesday, when a man covered in neuronal tumors approached the leader of the Catholic Church asking for a blessing.

Famous namesake: The pope has drawn comparisons to St Francis of Assisi - a revered 13th century holy figure, who according to legend kissed a leper

Famous namesake: The pope has drawn comparisons to St Francis of Assisi – a revered 13th century holy figure, who according to legend kissed a leper

The man reportedly suffers from a rare and painful disease called neurofibromatosis, which causes growths, impaired vision and in some cases cancer, according to the Catholic News Agency. 

Patients suffering from the ailment, which is genetic and not contagious – are often shunned by society because of their appearance.

Pope Francis has been widely praised for his common touch and accessibility.

Since being elected to the Holy See earlier this year, the pontiff has made headlines around the world by washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, personally calling distraught worshipers on the phone and inviting homeless people to dine at St Peter’s Square.

On Wednesday, the leader of the world’s 1.3billion Catholics was greeting pilgrims following his weekly public audience when he took a break to comfort the disfigured believer.

Pope Francis then kissed the man on the face and blessed him. He was photographed with his eyes tightly shut in prayer.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2489534/Touching-moment-Pope-Francis-halted-weekly-general-audience-kiss-hold-disfigured-man.html#ixzz2jylC2GsY
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The Feast of St Francis – 4 October

The Prayer of Saint Francis is a Catholic Christian prayer. It is widely but erroneously attributed to the 13th-century saint Francis of Assisi. The prayer in its present form cannot be traced back further than 1912, when it was printed in Paris in French, in a small spiritual magazine called La Clochette (The Little Bell), published by La Ligue de la Sainte-Messe (The Holy Mass League). The author’s name was not given, although it may have been the founder of La Ligue, Fr. Esther Bouquerel.
A professor at the University of Orleans in France, Dr. Christian Renoux, published a study of the prayer and its history in French in 2001.
The prayer has been known in the United States since 1927 when its first known translation in English appeared in January of that year in the Quaker magazine Friends’ Intelligencer (Philadelphia), where it was attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Francis Spellman and Senator Albert W. Hawkes distributed millions of copies of the prayer during and just after World War II.[1]:92–95

The first-known publication of the prayer was submitted anonymously to the French publication La Clochette in 1912.
Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de votre paix.
Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l’amour.
Là où il y a l’offense, que je mette le pardon.
Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l’union.
Là où il y a l’erreur, que je mette la vérité.
Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.
Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l’espérance.
Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette votre lumière.
Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.
Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant à être consolé qu’à consoler,
à être compris qu’à comprendre,
à être aimé qu’à aimer,
car c’est en donnant qu’on reçoit,
c’est en s’oubliant qu’on trouve, c’est en pardonnant qu’on est pardonné,
c’est en mourant qu’on ressuscite à l’éternelle vie.
One of the numerous English translations[2] of the Prayer is reproduced below:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

A popular hymn version, adapted and set to music by Sebastian Temple, ©1967 by OCP Publications, is Make Me A Channel of Your Peace. It is an anthem of the Royal British Legion and is usually sung every year at the Service of Remembrance in November at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Summarizing the Christian Renoux book on the prayer, an article by Egidio Picucci on the 19–20 January 2009 issue of L’Osservatore Romano says that the earliest record of the prayer is its appearance, as “a beautiful prayer to say during Mass” in the December 1912 number of the small devotional French publication La Clochette, “the bulletin of the League of the Holy Mass”. In 1915, Marquis Stanislas de La Rochethulon, president of the Anglo-French association Souvenir Normand, which called itself “a work of peace and justice inspired by the testament of William the Conqueror, who is considered to be the ancestor of all the royal families of Europe”, sent this prayer to Pope Benedict XV.
The Pope had an Italian translation published on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano of 20 January 1916. It appeared under the heading, “The prayer of Souvenir Normand for peace”, and with the explanation: “Souvenir Normand has sent the Holy Father the text of some prayers for peace. We have pleasure in presenting in particular the prayer addressed to the Sacred Heart, inspired by the testament of William the Conqueror”. On 28 January 1916, the French newspaper La Croix reprinted, in French, the Osservatore Romano article, with exactly the same heading and explanation. La Rochethulon wrote to the newspaper to clarify that it was not a prayer of Souvenir Normand, but he chose not to mention La Clochette, the first publication in which it had appeared. Because of its appearance on L’Osservatore Romano and La Croix as a prayer for peace during the First World War, this prayer then became widely known.[3]

Mother Teresa of Kolkata made it part of the morning prayers of the Roman Catholic religious institute she established, the Missionaries of Charity. She attributed importance to it when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1979 and asked that it be recited.
Margaret Thatcher, after winning the 1979 United Kingdom general election, paraphrased the prayer on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, surrounded by a throng of reporters, having “kissed hands” with Queen Elizabeth II and become Prime Minister.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, declared that it was “an integral part” of his devotions.
In October 1995, President Bill Clinton quoted it in his welcoming speech to Pope John Paul II on his arrival in New York to address the United Nations.
Nancy Pelosi used it when she became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007.[4]
Musical adaptations of the prayer include those by John Foley, John Michael Talbot, Sarah McLachlan, Moya Brennan, Sarah Hart, Sebastian Temple, Denison Witmer, the Ragamuffin Band, the Burns Sisters, Singh Kaur, Joey Rumor, and Ryan Cayabyab and also alyssa ashley digamo live in maynila .
The prayer is quoted in the movie Rambo by a priest as he blesses Sylvester Stallone before he sets off into Burma to rescue humanitarian workers.
The prayer is quoted in an episode of the television series Justified (TV series) by the character Boyd Crowder, who preaches it to character Marshall Raylan Givens after having a revelation.
The medic Eugene Roe recites part of the prayer in the episode “Bastogne” of Band of Brothers.
The prayer was used in a slightly abbreviated form in the 1972 film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon.
The prayer is also included in the song “The Shattered Fortress” by Dream Theater.
The prayer is used by Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui in his Twin Hearts Meditation.
The prayer is part of the mural above the interior entrance to the St. Anthony Dining Room on Leavenworth Street in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, California.
The prayer was read by the character of Sonny Corinthos at the funeral of Stone Cates in 1995 on General Hospital.
The hymn form of the prayer was also a part of the funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales on 6 September 1997. Sinéad O’Connor included her version of the song on the Princess Diana tribute album.
The prayer is sung by Snatam Kaur in her song Servant of Peace, which is on her album Liberation’s Door.
The prayer is recited by Shepherd Book in the Firefly TV Series based comic The Shepherd’s Tale
The prayer was sung during the religious wedding ceremony of Prince Albert II of Monaco to South African Charlene Wittstock on 2 July 2011.
Radhanath Swami cites this in the book “The Journey Home” as an impetus in his epic journey to understand spiritual truths.[5]
The character of George mentions it and quotes wrongly from it (“It’s better to love than to be loved…”, etc.) in Episode 7 of Season 3 of the television show Bored To Death.
The last episode of season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Grave”, uses the Sarah McLachlan song version for a montage.
Reverend Smith, from the HBO series Deadwood, recites lines from the prayer in Season 1, Episode 11 “Jewel’s Boot Is Made for Walking”.
The prayer can be heard on the Canadian Tenors CD, “The Perfect Gift”. (2009). It is called “Instrument of Peace”.
Historical studies[edit]

Christian Renoux, La prière pour la paix attribuée à saint François, une énigme à résoudre, Paris, Editions franciscaines, 2001 (in French).
Christian Renoux, La preghiera per la pace attribuita a san Francesco, un enigma da risolvere, Padova, Edizioni Messaggero, 2003 (in Italian).

Albert Haase, OFM, Instruments of Christ. Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2003.

^ Jump up to: a b Renoux, Christian (2001). La prière pour la paix attribuée à saint François: une énigme à résoudre. Paris: Editions franciscaines. ISBN 2-85020-096-4.
Jump up ^ The Peace Prayer: http://www.shrinesf.org/franciscan-prayer.html
Jump up ^ Renoux, Christian. “The Origin of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis”. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
Jump up ^ Video on YouTube
Jump up ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dpwz-Biehag
External links[edit]

Renoux on the prayer at http://www.franciscan-archive.org
Another popular version of ‘St. Francis Peace Prayer’ & the version as featured in the DVD / TV Show ‘Madre Teresa’
A Biography of St Francis of Assisi
Michael John Trotta’s Setting for choir

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February 25, 2013 · 14:34

Prayer of St. Francis

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October 5, 2012 · 15:21

Living the “Prayer of St.Francis’ with all of Creation by Daniel P. Horan

There is probably no saint more revered and well known in all of Christian history than St. Francis of Assisi. Today Christians, and many non-Christians alike, celebrate the life and legacy of this medieval Italian man who is known the world over for his exemplary life of holiness and model of peaceable living he leaves to us, nearly 800 years after his death.

Just as he remains a popular figure across many cultures and religious traditions, there is probably no Christian prayer more popular (with perhaps the predictable exception of the “Lord’s Prayer”) than the one that bears the name of this Saint from Assisi: “The Prayer of St. Francis.”

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Many people are shocked to learn that the prayer most closely associated with St. Francis was not actually written by him. In fact, the prayer called “The Prayer of St. Francis” is generally believed to be only about 100 years old, a creative and sincere prayer penned by an anonymous French writer. Over time this anonymously drafted prayer became linked with the spirit of the 13th-century friar whose continual striving to follow more closely the Gospel of Jesus Christ led to a renewal in the church at many levels.

Ultimately, I don’t think it matters very much that St. Francis isn’t directly responsible for this prayer because, although St. Francis never actually said or wrote these particular words, he lived the prayer with his whole life. And when we do look at a few of the authentic writings that we do have from the Poverello (the “little poor man” of Assisi), we see the values, insights and spirituality of the Franciscan tradition reflected in this now-classic prayer.

The most well known writing of St. Francis is probably the Canticle of the Creatures, in which the Saint from Assisi poetically praises God in and through various elements of the created order. The fundamental spiritual insight of the Canticle is that each aspect of God’s creation gives glory and praise to God by being what it was created to be. The Sun praises God by giving the world light; the wind praises God by bringing every kind of weather; and the Earth praises God by sustaining us through producing fruits, flowers and herbs.

All of God’s creation perfectly praises God because each element does what it was intended to do.

Near the end of the Canticle St. Francis finally introduces human persons. He writes:

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Human beings give praise to God — they live most authentically as they were created to be — through loving one another amid difficult times and by being peacemakers who seek reconciliation. Just as the Sun is most genuinely itself when providing light and warmth, women and men are most truly themselves when they love, forgive and make peace.

In this sense, the so-called “Prayer of St. Francis” reflects the spirit and outlook of the man for whom it is named. The prayer is a petition to God that we might live up to the true way of being-in-the-world that God intends for the human family. To be most authentically human is to be an instrument of peace or, to put it in the sense of the prayer’s following lines, one who sows: love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy in our world.

If the first part of the “Prayer of St. Francis” reminds us about whom we should strive to be in asking God to help us live out that identity, the second part of the prayer is a reminder of what not to be. In a word: selfish.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be understood, desiring to be loved, or seeking forgiveness from those we’ve hurt. But living after the example of St. Francis, whose whole life was modeled on the life of Jesus Christ, means putting others first and caring for the rest of creation in a way that reflects our interdependence and family relationship. It is a call to remember who we really are in the eyes of God, see who others are from that same perspective, and act in a way fitting our identity as human beings.

St. Francis once wrote to his fellow friars: “All creatures under heaven serve, know, and obey their Creator, each according to its own nature, better than you” (Admonition V). Unlike the Sun or wind or water, you and I have the capacity to choose to live in accord with our truest selves, or ignore it; to praise God by our words and deeds, or not; and to recognize our place in the family of creation, or pretend that we are above and apart from it.

The “Prayer of St. Francis” offers us is a chance to pause, pray and reflect on who it is that we are and what it is that we are created to do.

As we mark this day in honor of the great peacemaker, lover of all creation, and icon of holiness from Assisi, may the prayer offered in his name show us a way to live today as it reflects the way St. Francis once lived in the world.

For it is in living as authentic human persons fully alive that we become instruments of God’s peace and, like St. Francis, our whole lives can become a prayer.


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