The Day I Met Pope Francis

“God always surprises us; he bursts our categories; he wreaks havoc with our plans. And he tells us: Trust me; do not be afraid; let yourself be surprised.” I couldn’t have agreed more with Pope Francis when I heard him preach these words. It was October 13, 2013. I was standing in St. Peter’s...

Ask a Franciscan: Is It a Sin Not to Be ‘Green’?

Q: Dear Friar Pat: I hear different things from different Christians. Some think that being sensitive to ecological issues is a matter of faith. Others dismiss it as a fad and based on faulty science. Is someone committing a sin by denying the moral implications of ecological choices? A: Releasing toxic...

‘Virgin Made Church’

We do not know when Francis wrote “A Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” a short litany praising the mother of Jesus under many titles. After addressing her as lady, queen, and mother of God, Francis calls Mary “the virgin made Church.” He would have agreed with later scholars who have...

The Lord Will Never Abandon Us

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media’s new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Alicia von Stamwitz. It is always a joyful experience for us to read and reflect on the Beatitudes!… In proclaiming the Beatitudes, Jesus asks us to follow him and...

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...

Franciscan Media: More than Meets the Eye

St. Anthony Messenger has been the core of our Franciscan province’s media-evangelization ministry for well over a century. In recent decades, other forms of evangelization have come and gone here—most notably our wildly successful presence in the parish services market through Catholic Update and other...

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