Wednesday, October 04, 2006

St. Francis of Assisi

Is it possible someone out there does not know about St. Francis of Assisi? I'd venture to guess that, at least in the West, he is known to more people than even St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas. He was, of course, born to wealth and lived a rather ostentatious youth. After slowly moving to a more true relationship with God, a chance encounter with a leper became the new start of his life of poverty and service and eventually found the order of Friars Minor. And who could ever mention St. Francis without mentioning his rather unique relationship with all of nature as God's creation. I could go on, but you're better served with more well-written articles such as the one in the Catholic Encyclopedia or Catholic Culture. This little tidbit from Lives of the Saints really struck me:

Francis went in search of shelter, singing the divine praises. He met a band of robbers, who asked him who he was. He answered, 'I am the herald of the great King'. They beat him and threw him into a ditch full of snow. He went on singing the praises of God.

And thus the difference between the great saints and rabble like me - I can't imagine that if I were beaten and thrown into the snow I'd jump up and sing the praises of God. I certainly wish that I were that saintly, but not yet; perhaps through the intercession of Saint Francis?