HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL – March 17, 2017 – SHEROES & HEROES: ACTIVISTS
Compiled by Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center Director Beth Foster
“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.” — Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of Oct. 4.
In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. Francis is also known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy making him the first recorded person in Christian history to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died during the evening hours of Oct. 3, 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142.
Today’s Action: Follow St. Francis’ example, go outside and talk to the birds!
Today’s Sharing: What did you say to the birds? Did they talk back to you? Share your stories of love with us on the Holy Heretic on Facebook page at facebook.com/holyhereticzine.
** Don’t forget your gratitude journal at the back of your print edition of HolyHeretic!