What the Theologians Say 7

Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226) was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher who founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. He is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

Pope Gregory IX canonised Francis on 16 July 1228. He became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and is also known for his love of the Eucharist.[6] In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene, and in 1224, he received the stigmata, during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion.

His sayings are recognisable and commonly used today. Here is a selection:

‘All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.’

‘Pure holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.’

‘Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’

‘I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.’

‘While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.’

‘True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.’

‘A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.’

‘No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.’

‘Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.’

‘Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.’

‘We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer.’

‘Blessed is the servant who loves his brother as much when he is sick and useless as when he is well and can be of service to him. And blessed is he who loves his brother as well when he is afar off as when he is by his side, and who would say nothing behind his back he might not, in love, say before his face.’

‘What we are looking for is what is looking.’

‘Don't canonize me too soon. I'm perfectly capable of fathering a child.’

‘Preach the Gospels everyday and only if you have to...use words.’

‘Where there is charity and wisdom there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility there is neither anger nor worry.’

‘A man sins who wishes to receive more from his neighbour than he is himself willing to give to the Lord God.’

‘God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me a right faith, a sure hope, a perfect charity, sense and knowledge, so that I may carry out your holy command.’

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