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The words of St. Francis are relevant today

Giving thanks at our first Thanksgiving



READING for this week.
Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, will set us free from the slavery of anti-christian rhetoric and behavior. May it render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Let us pray

Our Holy father Pope Francis


Words from Pope Francis: Our Holy Father’s message

*A word from another Francis, the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago Our Country is adopting an official religion.

To the Point by Dennis Mallon, OFS The War on Women

 Giving Thanks

In 1607 pilgrims from England settled the first English colony in America. Jamestown, Virginia was the site of a colony that suffered many hardships. The first years were very difficult because of disease, poor water, food shortages, dissension, disillusionment, and Indian hostility. So many people died in those early years that, in April of 1609, the settlement in Jamestown was temporarily abandoned. Other settlements were begun, one being in Plymouth; but here too, there were serious problems.

At Plymouth they entered “their own starving time that winter of 1621-22 (with all the extra people to feed and shelter), and were ultimately reduced to a daily ration of five kernels of corn a piece. (Five kernels of corn – it is almost inconceivable how life could be supported on this.) But as always, they had a choice: either to give in to bitterness and despair or to go deeper into Christ. They chose Christ. And in contrast to what happened at Jamestown, not one of them died of starvation.”    
After that year, the pilgrims, at their Thanksgiving feast, would place 5 kernels of corn by their plates as a reminder of that winter.

The Lord my pasture shall prepare

Hymn Before a Scripture Reading

“The Lord my pasture shall prepare”
Words: Joseph Addison, 1712.

The Lord my pasture shall prepare
And feed me with a shepherd’s care;
His presence shall my wants supply
And guard me with a watchful eye;

My noonday walks He shall attend
And all my midnight hours defend.
When in the sultry glebe I faint
Or on the thirsty mountain pant,

To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary, wandering steps He leads,
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landscape flow.

Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious lonely wilds, I stray,
Thy bounty shall my pains beguile;
The barren wilderness shall smile,

With sudden greens and herbage crowned,
And streams shall murmur all around.
Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,

My steadfast heart shall fear no ill,
For Thou, O Lord, art with me still;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid
And guide me through the dreadful shade.

See more at:

“The Lord my pasture shall prepare” by Choir of Christ’s College;

Litany to St. Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Protector, Third Order Franciscan

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, graciously hear us.
O God the Father, of heaven:
have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world:
O God, the Holy Ghost:
O Holy Trinity, one God:
have mercy upon us.
Holy Mary:
Pray for us.
Immaculate Virgin:
Mother and Mistress of our Order:
Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary:
Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Duchess of Thuringia:
St. Elizabeth, mother in Israel:
St. Elizabeth, queen in the Kingdom of God:
St. Elizabeth, consoler of sinners:
St. Elizabeth, nurse of lepers:
St. Elizabeth, devoted wife of Louis the Good:
St. Elizabeth, famous exemplar of Christian widowhood:
St. Elizabeth, fervent spouse of the Son of God:
St. Elizabeth, humble in prosperity:
St. Elizabeth, patient in adversity:
St. Elizabeth, mighty in penance:
St. Elizabeth, wondrous in prayer:
St. Elizabeth, first-born of the tertiaries regular:
St. Elizabeth, protectress of our Order:
St. Elizabeth, the “dear saint” of Holy Church:
Pray for us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
graciously hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O blessed Elizabeth. Alleluia.
R. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Alleluia.
Let us pray.

Merciful Lord, we pray Thee to pour the bright beams of Thy grace into our hearts: that, by the glorious prayers of Thy Saint Elizabeth, we may learn to despise all worldly prosperity, and ever to rejoice in all Heavenly consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Bernardine of Siena

Easter: May 20th

Born in 1380, St. Bernardine of Siena left the world at an early age in order to lead a hermit’s life. When he was twenty-two, he entered the Franciscan Order, one of whose glories he is. Having been made General of the Order, he resigned this charge in order to devote himself to preaching. He preached the name of Jesus with such love that it wrought the transformation of many souls. He was instrumental in effecting many conversions. He died at Aquilea, in the midst of his missionary labors, on May 20, 1444, and was canonized six years later.

This feast is celebrated today both in the Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Bernardine was born in Carrara, Italy, in 1380. Even as a boy he nursed the sick during a time of pestilence in Siena. During a severe illness he decided upon entering a monastery and becoming a Franciscan. His superiors assigned him the task of preaching, and he submitted humbly despite a throat affliction. God heard his petition, and the ailment was miraculously cured.

A powerful and eloquent preacher (Pius II called him “a second Paul”) and a zealous apostle, Bernardine traveled the length and breadth of Italy, inculcating love and reverence toward the holy Name of Jesus. He exerted a powerful influence upon his contemporaries, inaugurating a genuine reformation within the Church. Seldom has a saint had so many and so distinguished followers (including St. John Capistran). Upon entering a city, Bernardine had a standard carried before him upon which was the holy Name of Jesus (IHS) encircled with twelve golden rays and surmounted by a cross.

When he preached, this symbol was placed alongside the pulpit; or he would hold in his hand a tablet bearing the divine monogram in letters large enough to be visible to the entire audience. It was also his zealous appeals that induced many priests to put the Name of Jesus on the altars and walls of their churches, or to have little cards with the inscription distributed among the people. At his instigation the public buildings in many cities of Italy were adorned with the monogram suitably enlarged, as can still be seen in Siena. At the Council of Florence St. Bernardine labored strenuously to end the schism (1439).

The insight of the birth of Christ

By Bret Thoman, OFS
Bethlehem:  House of bread
The old Hebrew name bêth lehem, meaning “house of bread”, has survived till the present day. In its Arabic form, however, bêt lahm, it means “house of meat”
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life come down from Heaven”

The Manger where Christ was laid was a place straw for feeding, a place of nourishing food for animals
Jesus said, “Unless you eat …

The Wood of the manger that held Him so securely would one day give way to the wood of the cross
Jesus said,

The Swaddling clothes: After an infant was born, the baby was washed, wrapped with strips of cloth. These stripes kept the newborn child warm and also ensured that the child’s limbs would grow straight.
Jesus said,

Mother and child are of one bond. A bond was established based on their shared feelings, interests, and experiences.
Figurative : chaos could result if the bonds of obedience and loyalty were broken.
Jesus said,

The Magi (Mystics) or Three Kings as they were known who visited the newborn child Jesus were highly regarded as leaders to be followed and revered
Jesus said,

Shepherds who visited Jesus were low life, considered dishonest, unclean and unlawful.
Jesus said,

We are by the company we keep.
Jesus said,

God came as a person so he knows what it means to be a person. Jesus said,

Incarnation:  literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to condensation, the fusion of two or more images, ideas, or symbolic meanings into a single composite or new image. the conception and birth of a sentient creature (able to perceive or feel things) and is the material manifestation of an entity, god.
Jesus said,

Jesus was Venerable: accorded a great deal of respect, esp. because of age, wisdom, or character.
Jesus said,

See Luke for the birth of Christ.

St. Francis and the Christmas Creche

Francis was focused on Jesus so much he forgot sometimes where he was going.
St. Francis was orthodox with the pope

Nativity scene, Creche or cresch
Now three years before his death it befell that he was minded, at the town of Greccio, to celebrate the memory of the Nativity of the Child Jesus, with all the added solemnity that he might, for the kindling of devotion. That this might not seem an innovation, he sought and obtained license from the Supreme Pontiff, and then made ready a manger, and bade that hay, together with an ox and ass, be brought unto the spot. The friars were called together, the folk assembled, the wood echoed with their voices, adn that august night was made radiant and solemn with many bright lights, and with tuneful and sonorous praises. The man of God, filled with tender love, stood before the manger, bathed in tears, and overflowing with joy. Solemn Masses were celebrated over the manger, Francis, the levite of Christ, chanting the Holy Gospel. Then he preached unto the folk standing around at the Birth of the King of poverty, calling Him, when he wished to name Him, the Child of Bethlehem, by reason of his tender love for Him. A certain knight, valorous and true, Messer Giovanni di Greccio, who for the love of Christ had left the secular army and was bound by closest friendship unto the man of God, declared that he beheld a little Child right fair to see, sleeping in that manger, who seemed to be awakened from sleep when the blessed Father Francis embraced Him in both arms. This vision of the devout knight is rendered worthy of belief, not alone through the holiness of him that beheld it, but is also confirmed by the truth that it set forth, and withal proven by the miracles that followed it. For the example of Francis, if meditated upon by the world, must needs stir up sluggish hearts unto the faith of Christ; for even the hay that was taken from the manger by the folk proved a marvellous remedy for sick beasts, and a preventative against divers other plagues, God magnifying by all means His servant, and making manifest by clear and miraculous portents the efficacy of his holy prayers.