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...

An Alternative Orthodoxy: Paying Attention to Different Things

Our guest blogger today is Richard Rohr, best-selling author of the new book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. To learn more about Richard, click here. One of the earliest accounts of Francis, the “Legend of Perugia,” quotes Francis as telling the first friars, “You only know...

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,...

Nobody Doesn’t Love Serra

Among all the announcements around Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States, one of the most exciting for Franciscan-minded people was the unveiling of plans to canonize American missionary Junipero Serra. While my fellow residents of the USA might tend to think that Christianity has been here...

Living on the Edge of the Inside: Simplicity and Justice

Our guest blogger today is Richard Rohr, best-selling author of the new book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. To learn more about Richard, click here. Francis and Clare were not so much prophets by what they said as in the radical, system-critiquing way that they lived their lives....

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