Saint Francis of Assisi (October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers, followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares. Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
Francis’ father was Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant. Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi.
1. FOR IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE.
2. START BY DOING WHAT’S NECESSARY; THEN DO WHAT’S POSSIBLE; AND SUDDENLY YOU ARE DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE.
3. GRANT ME THE TREASURE OF SUBLIME POVERTY: PERMIT THE DISTINCTIVE SIGN OF OUR ORDER TO BE THAT IT DOES NOT POSSESS ANYTHING OF ITS OWN BENEATH THE SUN, FOR THE GLORY OF YOUR NAME, AND THAT IT HAVE NO OTHER PATRIMONY THAN BEGGING.
4. IF GOD CAN WORK THROUGH ME, HE CAN WORK THROUGH ANYONE.
5. ABOVE ALL THE GRACE AND THE GIFTS THAT CHRIST GIVES TO HIS BELOVED IS THAT OF OVERCOMING SELF.
6. IT IS NO USE WALKING ANYWHERE TO PREACH UNLESS OUR WALKING IS OUR PREACHING.
7. WHERE THERE IS INJURY LET ME SOW PARDON.
8. IT IS IN PARDONING THAT WE ARE PARDONED.
9. I HAVE BEEN ALL THINGS UNHOLY. IF GOD CAN WORK THROUGH ME, HE CAN WORK THROUGH ANYONE.
10. LORD, GRANT THAT I MIGHT NOT SO MUCH SEEK TO BE LOVED AS TO LOVE.
11. IT IS NOT FITTING, WHEN ONE IS IN GOD’S SERVICE, TO HAVE A GLOOMY FACE OR A CHILLING LOOK.
12. IF YOU HAVE MEN WHO WILL EXCLUDE ANY OF GOD’S CREATURES FROM THE SHELTER OF COMPASSION AND PITY, YOU WILL HAVE MEN WHO WILL DEAL LIKEWISE WITH THEIR FELLOW MEN.
13. LORD, MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF THY PEACE. WHERE THERE IS HATRED, LET ME SOW LOVE.
14. PREACH THE GOSPEL AT ALL TIMES AND WHEN NECESSARY USE WORDS.
15. WHERE THERE IS CHARITY AND WISDOM, THERE IS NEITHER FEAR NOR IGNORANCE.
16. WHILE YOU ARE PROCLAIMING PEACE WITH YOUR LIPS, BE CAREFUL TO HAVE IT EVEN MORE FULLY IN YOUR HEART.
17. IF A SUPERIOR GIVE ANY ORDER TO ONE WHO IS UNDER HIM WHICH IS AGAINST THAT MAN’S CONSCIENCE, ALTHOUGH HE DO NOT OBEY IT YET HE SHALL NOT BE DISMISSED.
18. NO ONE IS TO BE CALLED AN ENEMY, ALL ARE YOUR BENEFACTORS, AND NO ONE DOES YOU HARM. YOU HAVE NO ENEMY EXCEPT YOURSELVES.