St. Francis of Assisi
ST. FRANCIS, the son of a merchant of Assisi, was born in that city in 1182. Chosen by God to be a living manifestation to the world of Christ's poor and suffering life on earth, he was early inspired with a high esteem and burning love of poverty and humiliation. The thought of the Man of Sorrows, Who had not where to lay His head, filled him with holy envy of the poor, and constrained him to renounce the wealth and worldly station which he abhorred. The scorn and hard usage which he met with from his father and townsmen when he appeared among them in the garb of poverty were delightful to him. "Now," he exclaimed, "I can say truly, 'Our Father Who art in heaven.'" But divine love burned in him too mightily not to kindle like desires in other hearts. Many joined themselves to him, and were constituted by Pope Innocent III. into a religious Order, which spread rapidly throughout Christendom. St. Francis, after visiting the East in the vain quest of martyrdom, spent his life like his Divine Master—now in preaching to the multitudes, now amid desert solitudes in fasting and contemplation. During one of these retreats he received on his hands, feet, and side the print of the five bleeding wounds of Jesus. With the cry, "Welcome, sister Death," he passed to the glory of his God October 4, 1226.
Reflection. —"My God and my all," St. Francis’ constant prayer, explains both his poverty and his wealth.
Prayers and Reading for today’s MASS
Saint Francis of Assisi
Introit • Gal: 6, 14
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. Ps. 141, 2. I cried to the Lord with my voice; with my voice I made supplication to the Lord. Glory be …
O God, Who, by the merits of blessed Francis, didst increase Thy Church by bringing forth a new progeny, grant us to imitate him in despising earthly things and ever to rejoice in partaking of heavenly gifts. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Gal. 6: 14-18
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Galatians.
Brethren, But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature: and whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me; for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body. The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
Gradual • Ps. 36, 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgments. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not supplanted.
Alleluia, alleluia. The poor and lowly Francis entereth heaven abounding in riches; he is acclaimed with celestial hymns. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 16, 24-27
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
At that time: Jesus said to His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for My sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels: and then will He render to every man according to his works.
Offertory • Ps. 88, 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted.
Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts dedicated to Thee, and, by the intercession of blessed Francis, cleanse us from all stain of sin. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 12, 42
A faithful and wise steward, who the Lord set over His family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
May heavenly grace, we beseech Thee, O Lord enlarge Thy Church which Thou wast pleased to enlighten by the glorious merits and examples of blessed Francis, Thy confessor. Through our Lord.