Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Francis was truly in love with Jesus. He met Him in the Word of God, in the brethren, in nature, but above all in the Eucharistic Presence.
Francis of Assisi is a great teacher of our faith and praise. By falling in love with Jesus Christ He encountered the Face of God-Love, of Whom he became an impassioned bard and sang His praise passionately like a real "minstrel of God."
Francis ... saw himself essentially as a "penitent," as it were, in a permanent state of conversion. Abandoning himself to the Holy Spirit's action, Francis was converted ever more closely to Christ, transformed into a living image of Him on the paths of poverty, love and mission.
In the light of the Gospel Beatitudes we can understand the gentleness with which St. Francis was able to live his relations with others, presenting himself in humility to all and becoming a witness and artisan of peace.
What was the life of the converted Francis if not a great act of love? This is revealed by his passionate prayers, rich in contemplation and praise, his tender embrace of the Divine Child at Greccio, his contemplation of the Passion at La Verna, his living "according to the form of the Holy Gospel" ..., his choice of poverty and his quest for Christ in the faces of the poor.
May St. Francis, a man of peace, obtain for us from the Lord an increasing number of people who accept to make themselves "instruments of His peace" through thousands of small acts in daily life; and that all who have roles of responsibility be motivated by a passionate love for peace and an indomitable determination to achieve it, choosing the appropriate means to obtain it.
(Sources: Pastoral visit to Assisi on the occasion of the eighth centenary of the conversion of St. Francis of Assisi, including homily, Angelus, meeting with youth and message to Friars Minor Conventional General Chapter Meeting, all on June 17.)
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