Today, October 4th, the Church honors one of the most beloved saints of all time, Francis of Assisi.
From the Liturgy of the Hours:
Saint Francis was born at Assisi in 1182. After a carefree youth, he renounced his paternal wealth and committed himself to God. He led a life of evangelical poverty and preached the love of God to all. He established a rule which a number of his companions followed and which gained the approval of the Holy See. Subsequently, he founded an order of nuns and a society of laypersons who practice penance while living in the world. He died in 1226.
From a letter written by Saint Francis:
Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it until the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father's children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: FATHER, YOU HELPED SAINT FRANCIS TO REFLECT THE IMAGE OF CHRIST THROUGH A LIFE OF POVERTY AND HUMILITY. MAY WE FOLLOW YOUR SON BY WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FRANCIS OF ASSISI, AND BY IMITATING HIS JOYFUL LOVE. GRANT THIS THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, YOUR SON, WHO LIVES AND REIGNS WITH YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD, FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN.