Thoughts from our Regional Formation Director - October 2014


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Buona Gente”

Our Holy Father Pope Francis in his special prayer intentions for this past September asked us to lift up the mentally disabled and also to pray as Christians inspired by the word of God to be compelled to serve those who are poor and suffering.

Article 13 of our Rule 13 describes how we as Franciscans should respond. We know that Christ was poor and suffered and He is for all people. The sense of equality is important. We are to work together as people of God in love and in harmony.

After Francis conversion he was ready to meet the leper. It is said that in the year 1209 in a village called Poggio Birstone there is a white stone in a wall with the inscription “Buona Gente” – Good Morning, Good People – a greeting Francis gave to the villagers. We are told that each year on the feast of Saint Francis, one of the villagers rises early and goes door to door reciting the same greeting. These people were poor in spirit, lost in sin and begged Francis to make them good. We now see how our prayers and service to others and our Rule as mentioned above apply.

Francis demanded of his friars and we as Franciscans that we should rejoice when conversing with the lowly and despised. He had more compassion for those who had nothing at all, the rascals and vagrants. To him they were “Heralds of the Great King.”

Have we forgotten the Franciscan spirit? Unable to console? If we are unable to reverence and be sympathetic, then we need to go back to our roots. It took Francis long hours of prayer and by the grace of God he was able to wash the wounds of the leper and become the image of Christ.

Do we see Christ in our brothers and sisters? Has it become hard to cultivate peace in our fraternities?


Peace be with you … and Happy Feast Day!!

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