During his youth in the Umbrian hill town of Assisi, St. Francis attracted lively crowds through antics and song. After receiving the Lord's call to, "… go and repair My house," he began gathering followers to a new way of living. Francis' heart was torn by the injustices he saw in the ecclesiastical, political and social structures of his time. He determined to live in the joyous poverty and simplicity that he felt disciples of Jesus were called to. His followers soon grew in number. In 1209, Francis' new order received papal blessing to proclaim the Gospel while living in holy poverty with fraternity and peace. Their humble example helped greatly to reform the Church in the Middle Ages.
Francis' sanctity was widely confirmed through his virtues as well as numerous miraculous occurrences. Within two years of his death, he was canonized and the construction of a large basilica was begun in Assisi. The background of this icon replicates a fresco in the richly decorated Basilica of St. Francis. Rains damaged the fresco, which was repaired with plaster. Within the basilica are housed the remains of St. Francis, beloved son of the Church.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque.)
Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to
eternal life. Amen.
(This prayer is printed on the back of Prayer Cards only.)
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