poor without servility, chaste without compromise, humble without pretense,
joyful without depravity, serious without affectation, active without
frivolity, submissive without bitterness, truthful without
In a recent catechesis, I already illustrated the
providential role that the Order of Friars Minor and the Order of Preachers,
founded respectively by St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic Guzmán, had in
the renewal of the Church of their time. Today I would like to present to you
the figure of Francis, an authentic “giant” of holiness, who
this 800th anniversary year of the founding of the Franciscan Order,
Franciscans throughout the world have remembered the occasion with celebrations
and have also been reflecting on the demands of Franciscans today. Though
Franciscan life is expressed differently depending on one’s state in life, five
basic commitments characterize all Franciscan’s lives. These five commitments
offer a continuing challenge for renewal and recommitment to living the Franciscan
life which this anniversary year has helped to foster.
Born in northern Italy in 1474, Angela Merici was orphaned by
the age of 10, she was soon alone in this world without her nuclear family
since her older sister suddenly died. Called to a life committed to the Lord,
Angela was a Franciscan tertiary (today known as Secular Franciscan) who
devoted herself to as much time in prayer as possible. She was particularly
The postulator (main promoter/researcher) of the cause of canonization of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II, Msgr. Slawomir Oder, published the full text of John Paul II’s resignation letter in his recent book, Why He Is Holy (only in Italian at the moment).
Earlier this morning I was poking around the Vatican website reading some of the pieces posted in the section on Pope John Paul I. The General Audience of September 6, 1978 is a striking reminder of how a Christian ought to live: in a mode of gratitude. The Pope’s address is so simple that the profundity is extraordinarily
The icon of Titus being ordained by the Apostle Paul is an intriguing piece since most of us just presume that the Apostles of Paul’s stature ordained others. Rather than presume, the Church offers this sacred image to us for our prayer.
This hymn captures poetically the vocation of these two saints.
For your servants and your bishops,
God, this day our thanks we bring.