Born in Assisi, Italy, in late 1181, St. Francis is one of the most popular saints. This coming Sunday is All Saints Sunday and so I thought I’d look at the lives of some of the most venerated saints. St. Francis is near the top. Born into wealth, he enjoyed a secular life style when young but rejected his worldly blessings of wealth, good looks, and talents to embrace the life of a monk. He is famously known for going to Egypt in 1219 to try to end the conflict of the Fifth Crusade. I did not know he arranged the first Christmas live nativity scene! I did know he was the founder of the Franciscans. St. Francis is often pictured wearing a robe with a rope for a belt and is at peace with animals and his environment. His feast day is October 4 and he is the patron saint of Italy.
As a non-Catholic, I am inspired by the peace that I have always associated with St. Francis as he communes with animals. Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Proverbs 16:7 says, “When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.” In our world of conflict and polarization, we deeply need people who nurture peace with God, with humanity, and with nature
Let us take our spiritual temperature today and ask ourselves if we are running hot or cold. Are we people of peace? To help us think about peace in our lives, let’s quickly do an acrostic of the word peace. P is for ______, E is for _______, A is for ______, C is for ______ and E is for ______. Thank you Lord for people who are peacemakers. May we too be people of peace on our journey.