Thoughts for the Day August 2021 – Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap

August 2021  

O loving one bear in mind your poor children for whom, without you, 

their one and only consolation, there is little comfort… 

they still .. tearfully cry out to you: O father, 

place before Jesus Christ, son of the Most High Father, His sacred stigmata; 

and show Him the signs of the cross on your hands, feet, and side, 

that He may mercifully bare His own wounds to the Father, 

and because of this the Father will ever show us in our anguish His tenderness. 


(Prayer to St. Francis from the End of the Second Book of the Life of St. Francis by Bl. Thomas of Celano) 


Following are excerpts taken from The Legend of Three Companions 

  Daily quotes from various sources 


To the Reverend Father in Christ, Brother Crescentius, by the grace of God General Minister, Brother Leo, Brother Rufino, and Brother Angelo, one-time companions, although unworthy, of the blessed father Francis, express their dutiful and devout reverence in the Lord. – The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. 

By command of the last general chapter, and of yourself, the brothers are bound to forward to Your Paternity such signs and wonders of our blessed father Francis which they know or can ascertain. We who, though unworthy, lived for a long time in his company, thought it opportune to recount truthfully to Your Holiness a few of his many deeds. – Time is limited, so do not waste it. 

We ourselves have seen or heard about them from other holy brothers, in particular from Brother Philip, the Visitator of the Poor Ladies, Brother Illuminato of Arce, Brother Masseo of Marignano, and a companion of the venerable father, Brother Giles, Brother John, who gathered these things from that holy Brother Giles, and from Brother Bernard of blessed memory, the first companion of blessed Francis. – If life were predictable, it would not be life, and it would be without flavor

We do not intend merely to relate miracles, which demonstrate, but do not cause sanctity. Our intention is to point out some striking aspects of his holy manner of life and the intention of his pious desires, for the praise and glory of almighty God and of the holy father Francis, and for the edification of those who desire to follow in his footsteps. – Spread love everywhere you go

We do not intend to write a legend, since other legends about his life and the miracles that the Lord worked through him have been written some time ago; rather, we have picked, as it were, from a field of flowers those we have judged the more beautiful. We are not following a chronological order, and are omitting many things which have already been related eloquently and accurately in other legends already mentioned you deem it expedient, you may insert these few things we have written into the other legends. – When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on

For we believe that if these things had been known to the venerable men who wrote those legends, they would in no way have passed them by; rather they would have embellished them with their own polished style as best they could, and thus transmitted them to posterity. May your Paternity always be well in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we commend ourselves to your holiness as your devoted sons. Given at Greccio, August 11, in the year of Our Lord 1246. – You are absolutely unique, just like everyone else.  


Chapter I 



Francis was raised in the city of Assisi, which is located in the boundaries of the valley of Spoleto. His mother at first called him John; but when his father, who had been away when he was born, returned from France, he later named him Francis. When he grew up, endowed with clever natural abilities, he pursued his father’s profession, that of a merchant. He was, however, vastly different from his father. – Judge each day by the seeds you plant, not by the harvest you reap

He was more good-natured and generous, given over to revelry and song with his friends, roaming day and night throughout the city of Assisi. He was most lavish in spending, so much so that all he could possess and earn was squandered on feasting and other pursuits. – The future belongs to those who believe in beauty of their dreams

Because of this his parents often reprimanded him, telling him that he spent so much money on himself and others that he seemed to be the son of some great prince rather than their son. But since his parents were wealthy and loved him very much, they tolerated all these things to avoid upsetting him.- Tell me I forget. Teach I remember, Involve me and I learn. 


When neighbors commented on his extravagance, his mother replied: “What do you think of my son? He will still be a son of God through grace.” He was lavish, indeed prodigal, not only in these things, but also in spending more money on expensive clothes than his social position warranted. He was so vain in seeking to stand out that sometimes he had the most expensive material sewed together with the cheapest cloth onto the same garment.- The best and most beautiful things in the world must be felt with the heart. 


He was naturally courteous in manner and speech and, following his heart’s intent, never uttered a rude or offensive word to anyone. Moreover, since he was such a light-hearted and undisciplined youth, he proposed to answer back those speaking to him rarely in a brusque manner. – It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light


His reputation, because of this, became so widespread throughout almost the entire region, that many who knew him said that, in the future, he would be something great. From these stepping stones of natural strengths, he was brought to that grace that prompted him to look within himself: “You are generous and courteous to those from whom you receive nothing except passing and worthless approval. – Whoever is happy will make others happy also


Is it not right that, on account of God who repays most generously, you should be courteous and generous to the poor?” From that day he looked on poor people generously and provided them affluently with alms. Although a merchant, he was a very flamboyant squanderer of wealth. – Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail


One day when he was in the shop where he was selling cloth, totally absorbed in business of this sort, a poor man came in, begging alms for the love of God. Preoccupied with thoughts of wealth and the care of business, he did not give him alms. Touched by divine grace, he accused himself of great rudeness, saying: “If that poor man had asked something from you for a great count or baron, you would certainly have granted him his request. How much more should you have done this for the King of kings and the Lord of all!” Because of this incident, he resolved in his heart, from then on, not to deny a request to anyone asking in the name of so great a Lord.- Spread love everywhere you go


Chapter II 





 At that time, war broke out between Perugia and Assisi. Together with many of his fellow citizens, Francis was captured and confined in Perugia, yet, because of his noble manners, he was imprisoned with the knights. – It is not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years


One time when his fellow prisoners were depressed, he, who was naturally cheerful and jovial, not only was not dejected but actually seemed to be happy. One of the prisoners rebuked him as insane for being cheerful in prison. Francis replied vigorously: “What do you think will become of me? Rest assured, I will be worshiped throughout the whole world.”- Never let fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.  


One of the knights who was imprisoned with him had injured a fellow prisoner, causing all the others to ostracize him. Francis alone not only acted in a friendly way toward him, but also urged the other prisoners to do the same. After a year, when peace was restored between those cities, Francis and his fellow prisoners returned to Assisi.- Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.  


A few years later, a nobleman from the city of Assisi was preparing himself with knightly arms to go to Apulia in order to increase his wealth and fame. When Francis learned of this, he yearned to go with him to that same place, and to be knighted by that count, Gentile by name.- Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up


He prepared clothing as expensive as possible, since even though he was poorer in riches than his fellow citizen, he was far more extravagant. – The only impossible journey is the one you never begin


He was completely preoccupied in carrying this out, and was burning with desire to set out, when, one night, the Lord visited him in a dream. Knowing his desire for honors, He enticed and lifted him to the pinnacle of glory by a vision.- In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.  


That night while he was sleeping, someone appeared to him, a man calling him by name. He led him into a beautiful bride’s elegant palace filled with knightly arms and on its walls hung glittering shields and other armor of knightly splendor. Overjoyed, he wondered what all this meant and asked to whom these brightly shining arms and this beautiful palace belonged. He was told that all these, including the palace, belonged to him and his knights.- You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.  


Awakening in the morning, he got up with great joy. Since he had not yet fully tasted the spirit of God, he thought in a worldly way that he must be singled out magnificently, and he considered the vision a portent of future good fortune.- The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.  


He resolved then to undertake the journey to Apulia to be knighted by the count. He was even more cheerful than usual, prompting many people to wonder. When they asked him the reason why he was beaming with joy, he answered: “I know that I will become a great prince.” – The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure


The day before the vision occurred, the promise of great chivalry and nobility was so strong in him, that it may be believed that the vision itself may have provided the motive. – If we are growing, we are always going be out of our comfort zone. 


On that day, in fact, he donated all the refined and expensive clothes he had recently acquired to a poor knight. When he set out for Apulia, he got as far as Spoleto, where he began to feel a little ill.- A leader is one who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way.  


No less anxious about the trip, as he was falling to sleep, half awake, he heard someone asking him where he wanted to go. When Francis revealed to him his entire plan, the other said: “Who can do more good for you? The lord or the servant?” – The key to change is to let go of fear


When [Francis] answered him: “The lord,” he again said to him: “Then why are you abandoning the lord for the servant, the patron for the client?” – If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.  


And Francis said: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” “Go back to your land,” he said, “and what you are to do will be told to you. – Courage is the power to let go of the familiar


You must understand in another way the vision which you saw.” When he woke up, he began to think very carefully about this vision. Just as the first vision had caused him to be almost completely carried away with great joy in a desire for worldly prosperity, the second made him completely introspective, causing him to marvel at and consider its strength, so that he was unable to sleep any more that night. – Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm


Therefore when it was morning, buoyant and happy, he quickly returned to Assisi, expecting that the Lord, who had revealed these things to him, would show him His will and give him counsel about salvation.- Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try


Changed in mind, he now refused to go to Apulia and desired to conform completely to the divine will. – Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be



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