Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Our Holy Father Francis:  Lover of Poverty

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The great Patriarch Francis, the powerful defender of the Church, the indefatigable and eloquent propagator of the evangelical spirit, and the cordial friend of Dominic, whose children the Friars Preachers venerate on this account, saw in a dream, a palace filled with arms marked with a cross: these arms were for him and his followers.

Valiantly did he combat the love of worldly possessions.  No miser had ever a greater passion for riches than he for poverty; he called it his mother, his spouse, his lady, and wept to see it so despised.  His favorites were the poor, his brethren of predilection the lepers; so much beauty did he discern in their wounds that he could not restrain himself from kissing them.

To perpetuate these traditions and this love of poverty, God has, for the last six centuries, multiplied by thousands throughout the world, the disciples and children of the poor man of Assisi, Friars Minors, Capuchins, Conventuals, Poor Clares, Tertiaries of different classes all make it their joy to depend upon Providence without any other resource.

This great Patriarch died in 1226 at the age of forty-five, saying: “Farewell, my dear children, remain constant in the fear of God.  You will be tried by great temptations, be firm in your resolutions.”

Prayer: Let us love God and serve Him with great purity of mind and heart (Letter addressed by St. Francis “to all Christians in the whole world, clerks, religious, laymen, men and women”).

Practice: Receive with affection the children of St. Francis, and when you meet them in the street let their appearance preach you a silent lesson.

Holy Father Francis, pray for us.

From “Saints and Saintly Dominicans: Daily Reflections on Their Lives”, edited by Rev. Thomas a Kempis Reilly, O.P. (1915).

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