After a youth of excess and wealth, St. Francis of Assisi gradually turned to prayer. He embraced the life of a penitent and itinerant preacher. Eventually companions came to him, those who wanted to follow in his love of God. To this brotherhood of companions, Francis proposed that mandate he himself heard as a wealthy young man to sell his goods and give to the poor, the instruction to the apostles to bring nothing for their journey and the demand to embrace the cross daily.
In this icon as in his life, St. Francis bears the wounds of Christ. The crucified Christ appears as He did when Francis received the stigmata. Francis holds a church reminiscent of the Porziuncola, the famed center of Francis’ movement. The animals at Francis’ feet honor his love of nature, and the wilderness suggests those places that Francis frequented for prayer. The flowing river that pierces the wilderness symbolizes the importance of Divine Grace to the world.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque, print and photo.)
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. Amen.
(This prayer is printed on the back of Prayer Cards only.)
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