Tag Archives: Franciscan saints and blesseds

Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds

St Mary Frances of 5 Wounds.jpgLord God, You endowed the virgin Mary Frances with gifts from heaven. By imitating her goodness here on earth may we come to share her joy in heaven.

A biographical sketch and another here. Saint Mary Frances has an extraordinary story and she is a model for all Christians and especially the Secular Franciscans. She was a stigmatist, a prophetess, an intercessor for miracles who desired to know God well and to take guidance from her guardian angel. Note the nearness of her feast today and the feast days of the Archangels and the Holy Guardian Angels.

Hymn to Saint Francis of Assisi, friar, deacon, founder

Faithful image of the Savior,
Poor and humble in Christ’s way,
Let us sing of good Saint Francis,
Heartfelt homage let us pay!
Leaving home and wealth behind him,
Francis heard the Savior’s call,
Serving God as poor and needy,
Trusting God to care for all.

St Francis meditating Greco.jpgPreaching Jesus and His mercy,
Francis made the Cross his boast,
Loving Christ within the Manger,
Praised His presence in the Host.
God in mercy gave him brothers
Joined in poverty and grace,
Vowed to serve Christ in obedience,
Freed by chastity’s embrace.

What was hidden from the learned
To the simple has been giv’n:
To the child-like are revealed now
All the truths and joys of heav’n.
Preaching only Jesus’ Gospel,
Francis sang of endless care
Which God, author of creation,
With each person wants to share.

Most high God, all good and mighty,
Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
With Saint Francis we would love You
And with Christ-filled lives attest:
From You, Lord, comes our salvation!
As did Francis, help us live
Lives of peace and true devotion,
That we thanks and praise may give!

87 87 D, suggested tune:  Nettleton
James Michael Thompson, (c) 2009, World Library Publications

Sonnet for Assisi

Blind Francis, waiting to welcome Sister Death,

St Francis4.jpg

though he was by ecstacies and fame,

Had heart for tune. With what remained of

He led his friars in canticles. Then came

Brother Elias, scowling, to
his side,

Small-souled Elias, crying by book and candle,

This was outrageous!
Had the friars no pride?

Music at deathbeds! Ah, the shame! the scandal!

gave him sermons and advice

Instead of song; which simply proves once more

things are sure this side of paradise:

Death, taxes, and the counsel of the

Though we outwit the tithe, make death our friend,

Bores we have with us
even to the end.

(Phyllis McGinley, 1950)

Saint Francis of Assisi

St Francis in Sacro Speco.jpgLet us rejoice in the Lord, and keep a festival in honor of blessed Francis. Let us join with the angels in joyful praise of the Son of God.

Father, You helped our seraphic father Francis reflect the image of Christ through a life of poverty and humility. May we follow Your Son by walking in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi and by imitating his joyful love.
The Minister General and the General Definitory of the Friars Minor gave his worldwide brothers (and to the rest of us) a letter on the feast of holy father Saint Francis. It can be read Letter for St Francis feast 2009.pdf.
May I invite you to read the homily for this feast of Francis given/posted by my friend and classmate, Capuchin Father Charles, who serves as a curate at the nearby Sacred Heart Church. His perspective into the person Francis is worth the time.
The author of a recent book on Francis speaks on an American Magazine podcast. I don’t know the reliability of the author’s work, but it sounds interesting, especially in these days of Christian-Islam exchange.

Saint Elzéar and Blessed Delphina

How beautiful in splendor is the chaste generation! Immortal is its memory because it is acknowledged both by God and by men.

St Elzear Blessed Delphine.jpg

Heavenly Father, You have given us Saint Elzéar and Blessed Delphina as shining examples of virtue in holy wedded life. As we venerate their pious achievements on earth, so may we arrive at blessed fellowship with them in heaven.

Saint Elzéar and Blessed Delphina are one of the very few married couples recognized by the Church for sainted holiness; they certainly are the only husband and wife team raised to the altar who were members of the Third Order Franciscans (today we say they are Secular Franciscans). As Third Order Franciscans, Saint Elzéar and Blessed Delphina observed a life of penance and obligation to pray the Divine Office. Their married life was characterized as resolutely chaste as they both vowed perpetual virginity, proving that marriage is more than sexual expression.

Dedicated to the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the hagiographies indicate that each night 12 poor people dined with them. Saint Elzéar was religiously devoted and cared for the poor; known to be modest and generous; conforming himself to Christ he bore insults cheerfully. It was reported that he cured several people from leprosy. Delphina, together with her husband, cared for the poor and the sick; after Elzéar’s death she disposed of her wealth and is remembered for faithfully following Christ and thus living a moral life. One such example of living a morally upright life is her influence in converting the king of Sicily’s court to Christ.

Elzéar was canonized in 1369 by his godchild Pope Urban V (of whom he said would be the supreme pontiff) and Delphina was beatified in 1694 by Pope Innocent XII.

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]yahoo.com.
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