The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me the instrument of thy 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;

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; 

It is dying to self, that we are born to eternal life.

 

 

Francis Bernardone (c. 1181 1226), perhaps the most universally loved of Christian saints, was born in Assisi, Italy. At age twenty-two, after a sudden illness that brought him almost to the point of death, he left his comfortable home and wealthy inheritance to follow an injunction that he felt he received from Christ himself: “Francis, rebuild my Church.”

 

With the eagerness that was a hallmark of his personality, he set about repairing a tiny broken-down chapel on the outskirts of Assisi, begging for stones and singing while he worked. His directness, humility, and uncontainable joy drew others. Within a few years, three great Franciscan orders grew around the monks, nuns, and lay disciplines who responded to his example of universal love and selfless service, following the way of Jesus as set forth in the Gospels. By the time of his death there were brown-robed Franciscans walking the roads of Europe and the lands bordering the Mediterranean.

 

‘Saint Clare of Assisi’ and others consolidated the movement that remains vital eight hundred years later, and many recent biographies testify to the influence of this joyful mystic who now belongs to the whole world.

 

It is not known when the prayer associated with his name first appeared in writing, but James Meyor, O.F.M., notes in The Words of St Francis (Franciscan Herald Press, 1952) that “a passage which strongly recalls the Peace Prayer” is found in the Sayings of Brother Giles, and that Giles, one of Francis’s earliest disciplines, was a fervent imitator and “very like him in native and inspired wisdom.” Whatever the written source, Francis’s spirit is faithfully captured in his widely cherished prayer.

~ Eknath Easwaran

 

Saint Francis was known to have an affection for animals. Hence many images of Saint Francis depict him around animals.

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  1. freedomveg

     /  September 14, 2014

    Reblogged this on freedomveg.

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