St. Francis and the Eucharist

We have two versions of St. Francis’ “Exhortation to the Clergy.” The earlier text was probably written before 1219; the other text dates from 1220. The first version reflects the concerns of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 that all priests show more reverence for the Eucharist, especially by making...

‘Doing Penance’

There are two versions of Francis’ “Exhortations” to laypeople who wanted to share his Gospel way of life in the single or married state. The older version, tentatively dated between 1209 and 1215, has two sections: one addressed to “Those who do penance” and the other addressed to “Those...

Francis’ Oldest Prayer

The oldest writing of St. Francis is probably his “Prayer before the Crucifix,” which dates to 1205 or 1206—very early in his conversion process. In this short prayer, after Francis asks God to enlighten the darkness of his heart, he requests “true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity,...

Francis the Writer

Many people are surprised to hear that St. Francis of Assisi left behind a fair body of writing—55 texts in the excellent volume Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, Vol. 1, The Saint, edited by Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap., Wayne Hellman, OFM Conv., and William Short, OFM. Francis had enough formal education...

A Living Church

The Friars Minor staff 50 shrines in Israel, the Palestinian Territory, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Egypt. They staff or help sponsor 16 schools with approximately 10,000 students of various religions. Friar parishes are in Akko, Beit Hanina, Bethany, Bethlehem, Cana, Jaffa, Jericho, Jerusalem (St....

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