St.Francis Of Assisi

St Francis of Assisi was born in the year 1881 or 1882 but no one knows the exact date. It’s known He was born with the name “Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone” in a small town called Assisi in Italy. He grew up in a wealthy family with loving parents and he grew especially close to his father. His father was a wealthy merchant but was not the most compassionate person in the world. His mother was a pious woman and was kind to everyone. Francis grew up just like his mother seeing the good in people and caring for those in need. Even though his father scolds him he still gives to the poor and sick. Francis’ friends even mocked him for his generous acts of charity but that didn’t stop him.

When Francis was about 31 or 32 he joined a military expedition to Perugia. On the expedition he was taken as a prisoner and was incarcerated. When he was released he came back to his home town which is when the holy spirit had hit him. He turned back to God and started being more spiritual than ever. One day he was praying in a St Damien chapel in front of a crucifix and he suddenly heard a booming voice. He heard it from every direction: it told him to “rebuild his church”.Francis knew at once that this was God and from then on he was determined to rebuild God’s church. He soon set to go refurbish the small broken-down church in his town. His father wouldn’t let him use any of his money for the church so Francis begged on the streets and with that he was able to rebuild the small church. Francis knew that God’s message meant much more than just rebuilding the small church. Francis needed to revive Christianity as it was weaker than ever. To rebuild God’s church he must revive the community that allows the church to thrive therefore Francis’ travelled around the country preaching the word of God and gaining faithful followers simultaneously. Francis was inspired by the 12 disciples (when he heard the reading of the gospels) to do his preaching and to spread the love and word of God. Another change that happened to Francis was that he devoted himself to a life of poverty and to show that, he wore the poorest piece of clothing that Umbrian peasants wore. This became so iconic this is the clothing used in all pictures of him used and people had a name for him “Poverello” meaning “little poor man”.

In Francis’ mission to rebuild God’s church, many people criticised him including bishops and priests for taking the gospel way too seriously. So Francis went to Rome because he thought The lord had a different plan and that the holy spirit would take care of him and his brothers because they were living in the words of Jesus Christ. Francis travelled to Rome and spoke to the Pope and the Pope was so moved that he had a dream the following night of a little poor man who was holding up the building of St Peter’s Basilica. The pope called Francis and when Francis came to show his reverence the Pope knelt down and kissed Francis’s feet as a sign of humility. Thenceforth a new community of Christians called the Franscicians was given a blessing from the church. After many years of preaching Francis died of Trachoma(an infectious eye disease) at the age of 44 on the 3rd of October. We celebrate his feast a day after his death anniversary.

To conclude I would like to share my opinion on this character of my faith. Francis inspired me to believe that no amount of material or money could ever buy you happiness and the only way is to carry on our mission and goal as Catholics, to rebuild God’s church and to spread the word of God. If Francis did this with no money then we certainly can. Another lesson Francis taught me was that as us Catholics follow and worship Jesus we must also think and speak and act like him by loving all our neighbours no matter how sick or poor. If we do this God will love us unconditionally and when we die we can stay in his eternal kingdom blanketed with his love and grace. This is the template we must follow to live and die as a true catholic.

Joel Jobby

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