Category Archives: Franciscan saints & blesseds

Francis and Ignatius – saints who rebuilt the Church

Francis and Ignatius.jpeg

I read this narrative in one of the newsletters I receive. Very curious on these things work out, no?

When the parish priest of a beautiful village of Provence, South of France, asked in January for a new work of art for his parish, he couldn’t imagine that his command would meet the joyful events of the whole church, and of the Society. As this diocesan priest was very close to the Franciscans, and to the Jesuits, he asked a parishioner to create a drawing of St Ignatius and St Francis, and another to transform it in a wood bas relief for his parish. The project was going on, when the new pope, a Jesuit, decided to call himself Francis. This drawing had suddenly a more universal signification, and the artist transformed it also into an icon. Every Jesuit will be able to read it and to appreciate its symbols.

All Saints and All Souls Days in religious orders

benedict and devil.jpgThe Church is not liturgically monolithic: let’s consider the various observances of feasts of All Saints and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls) in various religious orders:

All Saints
  • November 5: the Society of Jesus
  • November 7: the Order of Preachers
  • November 13: the Order of St Benedict; Order of St Augustine; the Trinitarian Order
  • November 29: the Franciscan Families
All Souls
  • October 5: the Capuchin Order
  • November 5: the Franciscan Families
  • November 8: the Order of Preachers
  • November 13: the Carthusians
  • November 14: the Order of St Benedict; the Trinitarian Order
  • November 15: the Order of Carmel
  • November 16: the Servite Order

Saint Francis of Assisi

Lamentation of St Francis Fra Angelico detail.jpg

What gift could you possibly offer the Trinity, O holy Father,
when you possessed but a tunic, breeches, and cord?
What else could you offer the Lord but the triune gift of yourself:
The gold of evangelical poverty,
the incense of perfect obedience,
and the sweet-smelling myrrh of chastity.
In return, out of love for all mankind,
the Lord Christ granted you the grace
to know His saving Passion in your own flesh.
Beg Him to save our souls.

Saint Bonaventure

San Bonaventura.jpg

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday of the bishop Saint Bonaventure, we may benefit from his great learning and constantly imitate the ardor of his charity.

Ask my parents about the number of books I have. They’d say, “Too many.” But they also say that I don’t easily with them. However, I do weed out some of the books I deem useless to me and donate them to a monastery or a group of Benedictine sisters in outside of Pittsburgh who collect books for new monasteries in the developing world. I do try to act charitably.

A Capuchin friar friend of mine wrote a piece on his blog about his reluctance to lend books. I can relate. He found this paragraph of Saint Bonaventure’s that seems to capture the feelings of anyone who has ever been reluctant to lend a book:

[T]hose who are most importunate in asking for them are the slowest to return them; books return torn and dirty; he to whom they are lent, lends them to another without your permission, and this other sometimes to a third, and this third not knowing by now who owns the book is not in a position to give it back; sometimes again he to whom a book is lent leaves the place and is then too far away to bring it back; and if he manages to find someone to bring it back for him, this someone wants to read it before giving it back, or lends it, and ends up by denying that he ever had it; finally if a book is lent to one man others are angry that it is not lent to them too, so that one is forced to do without it oneself while waiting for it to come back dirty, or be lost altogether.

There’s still much to learn in the spiritual life when you take seriously the prayer of the Church (noted above), especially regarding the charity one ought to have. I fail at being charitable, a sin I confess often; but I keep trying to learn from the saints like Friar Bonaventure.

Some prior posts on Saint Bonaventure may be found herehere and here.

(Bonaventure, Determinationes quaestionum, II, 21, as quoted in Etienne Gilson, The Philosophy of St. Bonaventure, trans. Dom Illtyd Trethowan, 61-62.)

Saint Anthony of Padua

St Anthony of Padua with bk.jpgAlmighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Anthony of Padua to your people as an outstanding preacher and an intercessor in their need, grant that, with his assistance, as we follow the teachings of the Christian life, we may know your help in every trial.

One of the beautiful things that happened today was the reception of First Holy Communion of Giovannimaria Rainaldi, 6, who is living with neuroblastoma. From Rome, Italy, he’s been here seeking treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Giovannimaria has had a setback and needs our fraternal and prayerful support.

Be sure to read the select for Saint Anthony in the Office of Readings. As usual, it’s good for meditation.

Saint Anthony help us to find Christ, and stick with Him. Pray for us.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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