On October 3, we joined all Franciscans around the world to remember the passing death of our holy father,
St. Francis. We remember what he asks of us to be and do as peacemakers and missionary disciples of Jesus and Mary.
Francis is a missionary saint. God chose St. Francis to “Go, rebuild my Church” – a call that Francis answered literally by re-building the San Damiano church, as well as by living out his faith in caring for the poor and marginalized. He encouraged others to live simply. Ultimately, the call to “Go, rebuild my Church” was actualized by Francis–reforming the image and lifestyle of clergy, demonstrating the power of simple living, renewing in others the desire to create change. He did this by leading an exemplary life of service – and by calling people to renewed faithfulness to Christ and commitment to His mission. We, as missionaries, must contemplate how we are being called to rebuild the Church today; it is especially needed now during this current crisis and will continue to be needed until the end of time.
“Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words,” is commonly attributed to St. Francis because his life evangelized many, especially given the context of a society where St. Francis’ vow to poverty was a stunning image of the Gospel. He died in 1226. He was canonized two years later by Pope Gregory IX. In 2013,
Pope Francis became the first pope to adopt St. Francis’ name.
To all our Franciscan sisters and brothers, Happy Feast Day!