The Body and Blood of Christ

The favorite subject of Francis’s writings was the Blessed Sacrament. Again and again he refers to it, as in the: “Letter to all the Custodes.”

“To all the Custodes of the Lesser Brothers whom this letter will reach, Brother Francis, your servant and little one in the Lord God, welfare, amid the new signs in heaven and on earth, which with the Lord are great and most exceptional but are regarded very lightly by many religious and other people:”

“I beseech you more than if it concerned myself, that where it is proper and you find it helpful you may plead humbly with clerics that they ought to venerate above all else the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and writings with his holy names and words, which sanctify the Body. The chalices, corporals, the ornaments of the altar and everything pertaining to the sacrifice, they ought to regard as precious. And if there is any place where the most holy Body of our Lord is lodged very poorly, let it according to the command of the Church be placed by them in a choice place and reserved there, and let it be borne about with great reverence and administered to others with discretion. Also the written names and words of our Lord, wherever found in sordid places, should be picked up and they ought to be put in a decent place.”

“And in any preaching you do, admonish the people concerning repentance, and when the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord is sacrificed on the altar by the priest or borne about anywhere, let all the people on bended knees render praise, glory and honor to the true and living Lord God.”

“And tell and preach this to all peoples in his praise, that at every hour and when the bells are rung, praise and thanksgiving should be offered to almighty God by all the people all over the earth.”

“And wherever this writing reaches any of my Brother Custodes whatever, and they copy it and keep it about them and cause it to be copied for the brothers who have the office of preaching and the wardenship of the brothers, and preach to the last whatever is contained in this writing: let them know they have the blessing of the Lord God and my own. And let them regard this as true and holy obedience. Amen.”

(Opuscula, classic collection of the written works of St. Francis, 3rd edition, pages 113-115)

A Letter to all Guardians

…..”I beseech you before the Lord our God as much as I can that you give the letter dealing with the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord to the bishops and other clergy and that you keep in mind what we have commended to you in it.”

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