Francis of Assisi
The Prayer of St. Francis is one of the best known and best loved prayers in the world today. Attributed traditionally to St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), pictured above, its actual origins are much more recent. Nonethless it beautifully reflects his devotion to God!
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.
Although he came from a wealthy family, St. Francis developed a burning desire as a young man to emulate Our Lord in his love of charity and voluntary poverty. He went so far at one point as to sell his horse, and cloth from his father’s store, to help pay for the rebuilding of a church!
After renouncing his wealth, St. Francis founded one of the most famous religious orders, the Franciscans. The Franciscans lived an austere life of poverty in service to others following Jesus’s example, and preached the Gospel message all over Italy and other parts of Europe.
St. Francis’s humility was such that he never became a priest. Coming from someone whose order attracted thousands of people within its first ten years, this is modesty indeed!
Fittingly, St. Francis is the patron of Catholic Action, as well as of animals, the environment, and his native Italy. We see his legacy in the wonderful chartiable work the Franciscans do all over the world today.
In addition to the Prayer of St. Francis (also known as the “Peace Prayer of St. Francis&rdquo there are some other moving prayers that he wrote listed here that reflect his great love of Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, and nature as part of God’s magnificent creation.