Thoughts for the Day September 2021 by Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap

September 2021 

 Prayer in honor of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi

Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi, you were sealed with the image of the Passion of our Savior, so that the hearts of all people might be rekindled with the fire of Divine Love. As you bore the imprint of the wounds of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we ask you to pray for us through those signs of God’s love for you that we too may be signs of the Lord’s living presence and love for all 

             –   Through the wound of your right hand- pray that my hands may always be raised in blessing to others. 

             –   Through the wound of your left hand – pray that I may always reach out for what leads me closer to God and my hands may always be outstretched to assist those in need. 

             –   Through the wound of your right foot – pray that I may fulfill the words of the prophet who blesses the feet of the bearer of peace and good tidings. 

             –   Through the wound of your left foot – pray that at the crossroads of life my steps may always seek out the direction  that leads to the fulfillment of the Father’s plan for me. 

             –   Through the wound of your side – pray that, as you, so also I may approach all people with a disarmed heart, that they may see in me, as so many saw in you, the image of the compassionate Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. 

              –    Lord, You signed St. Francis of Assisi with the marks of Your Passion 

              – That we might bear our crosses with patience and love. 

              –    May we boast of nothing 

               – But the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ   

Let us pray:    O Lord Jesus Christ, when the world was growing cold, in order that our hearts might be rekindled with the fire of Your Love, You renewed on the body of our Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, the sacred marks of Your Passion.  Grant, through his intercession, that we may carry our crosses with patience and bear fruits worthy of Eternal Life.  We ask this of you Who live and reign forever and ever. 

–   Amen. 

 Daily Franciscan Excerpts for reflection taken from 

The Legend of the Three Companions 

 Chapter III 






A few days after he returned to Assisi, one evening his friends chose him to be in charge so that, according to his whim, he would pay their expenses. He made arrangements for a sumptuous banquet, as he had done so often in the past. When they left the house bloated, his friends walked ahead of him, singing throughout the city. – Keep imprinted on your soul that God is our Father. 


Holding in his hand the scepter of his office as their leader, he fell slightly behind them. He was not singing, but was deeply preoccupied. Suddenly he was visited by the Lord who filled his heart with so much tenderness that he was unable to speak or move.- Assist and take care of your soul and family as God wishes and don’t worry about anything.


He could only feel and hear this marvelous tenderness; it left him so estranged from any sensation that, as he himself said later, even if he had been completely cut to pieces, he would not have been able to move.- It is your providence, o Father, that steers the course. (cfr. Bk.Wisdom)


When his companions glanced back and saw him so removed from them, they went back surprised at seeing him already changed into another man. They asked him: “What were you thinking about that you did not follow us? Were you perhaps thinking about taking a wife?” He answered in an unequivocal voice: “You are right! I was thinking about taking a wife more noble, wealthier, and more beautiful than you have ever seen.” – If God did not abandon you in the past He will surely not abandon you now and in the future. Be at peace!


They laughed at him. For he said this not of his own accord, but because he was inspired by God. In fact, the bride was the true religion that he later embraced, a bride more noble, richer and more beautiful because of her poverty.- Earnestly endeavor to love Jesus. This alone will drive fear from our hearts.


From that very hour he began to consider himself of little value and to despise those things which he had previously held in love. Since he was not entirely detached from worldly vanities, this change was not yet perfect. He retired for a short time from the tumult and business of the world and was anxious to keep Jesus Christ in his inmost self, and, after selling all he had, he desired to buy the pearl, concealing it from the eyes of mockers. – Love of Jesus makes the soul fly to Him, not just walk.


Often, almost daily, he withdrew secretly to pray. He was inclined to do so by that same tenderness he had tasted earlier, which now visited him ever more frequently, driving him to prayer in the piazza and in other public places. Although he had been for some time a benefactor of the poor, he proposed in his heart, from then on, never to deny alms to any poor person begging from him for God’s sake, but rather to give more willingly and abundantly than usual.- Jesus is always pleased with us when our actions are directed to the glory of God.


When away from home, if he could, he always gave money to any poor person requesting alms. If he had no money, he gave him his hat or belt, making sure never to send him away empty-handed. If he lacked even these things, he would go to a deserted place, take off his shirt, and give it to the poor man, begging him to take it for the love of God. He would even purchase furnishings for adorning churches, and would secretly send them to poor priests. – Seek to love God and go forward without heeding the voice of your fears.


When his father was away and he was at home alone with his mother, although only two of them took their meals, he filled the table with loaves of bread as if he were preparing for an entire family. When his mother asked why he put so much food on the table, he answered that it would be given as alms for the poor, since he had resolved to give to anyone begging alms for God’s sake. – Know your fears, bring them to God, but do not worry about them.


Because his mother loved him more than the other children, she tolerated him in such matters, noticing the things he did and admiring in his heart many more. For he was so accustomed to setting his heart on joining his companions when they called him, and was so captivated by their company, that he would frequently leave the table even if he had eaten only a little. – Fly in spirit to the Tabernacle when you cannot go there with the body, and there express your desires.


In this way he would upset his parents by his thoughtless flight. Now, however, his whole heart was intent on seeing the poor, listening to them, and giving them alms.- Ascend Calvary without tiring and firmly believe it will lead you to the Lord.


He was so changed by divine grace that, although he was still in secular attire, he yearned to be in another city where, as someone unknown, he would take off his own clothes and, in exchange, put on the rags of a poor man. And he would try begging alms for the love of God. – Draw away step by step from earthly affections and aspire to the happiness prepared for us.


At this time he happened to go to Rome on pilgrimage. As he was entering the church of Saint Peter, he noticed the meager offerings made by some, and said to himself: “Since the Prince of the Apostles should be greatly honored, why do they make such meager offerings in the church where his body rests?” – Banish all uneasiness and worry, they are contrary to the working of the Holy Spirit.


With great enthusiasm, he took a handful of coins from his money pouch, and threw them through a grating of the altar, making such a loud noise that all the bystanders were astonished at his generosity. As he was leaving and passed the doors of the church, where there were many poor people begging alms, he secretly exchanged clothes with one of those poor people and put them on. – Take courage at the consoling thought of God’s love and mercy.


Standing on the steps of the church with the other poor, he begged for alms in French, because he would speak French spontaneously, although he did not do so correctly After taking off the beggar’s clothes and putting on his own, he returned to Assisi, and began to pray that the Lord would direct his way.- Be absolutely determined to love and serve the divine goodness Who is God.


He did not share his secret with anyone; nor did he seek counsel from anyone, except from God alone, and, periodically, from the bishop of Assisi. For at that time no one possessed the real poverty that he desired more than anything else in this world, in which he yearned to live and die.- Bear patiently the defects of those around you. 


Chapter IV 





One day, while he was praying enthusiastically to the Lord, he received this response: “Francis, everything you loved carnally and desired to have, you must despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. – Love is the queen of virtues which includes all others. 


Because once you begin doing this, what before seemed delightful and sweet will be unbearable and bitter; and what before made you shudder will offer you great sweetness and enormous delight.” He was overjoyed at this and was comforted by the Lord.- Let us love and practice charity as this is our divine Master’s precept.


One day he was riding his horse near Assisi, when he met a leper. And, even though he usually shuddered at lepers, he made himself dismount, and gave him a coin, kissing his hand as he did so. After he accepted a kiss of peace from him, Francis remounted and continued on his way.- We shall be distinguished from the unbelievers by our loving and charitable behavior.  


He then began to consider himself less and less, until, by God’s grace, he came to complete victory over himself. After a few days, he moved to a hospice of lepers, taking with him a large sum of money. Calling them all together, as he kissed the hand of each, he gave them alms. – How good the Lord is to everyone.


When he left there, what before had been bitter, that is, to see and touch lepers, was turned into sweetness. For, as he said, the sight of lepers was so bitter to him, that he refused not only to look at them, but even to approach their dwellings. If he happened to come near their houses or to see them, even though he was moved by piety to give them alms through an intermediary, he always turned away his face and held his nose. – Learn and more gently recognize and adore the divine will in all the events of life.


With the help of God’s grace, he became such a servant and friend of the lepers, that, as he testified in his Testament, he stayed among them and served them with humility.- Often repeat the words of the Divine Master: Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


Changed into good after his visit to the lepers, he would take a companion, whom he loved very much, to secluded places, telling him that he had found a great and precious treasure. – Acceptance of God’s will is our anchor and salvation.


The man was not a little overjoyed, and gladly went with him whenever he was summoned. Francis often led him to a cave near Assisi, and, while he went alone inside, he left his companion outside, eager for the treasure. – Lively faith, blind belief, and complete adherence to God’s will over you is the light that guides our way.


Inspired by a new and extraordinary spirit, he would pray to his Father in secret, wanting no one to know what was happening within except God alone, whom he consulted about acquiring heavenly treasure.- Try always to guard these two virtues: Love and Humility.


The enemy of the human race, observing him, strove to lure him from the good he had begun by striking fear and dread in him. – Open wide your heart to trust in God, Who opened His Heart for you.


There was in Assisi a deformed, hunchbacked woman, whom the devil, appearing to the man of God, recalled to him. He threatened to inflict him with her deformity unless he reneged on the plan he had conceived. – Impress on your mind, engrave deeply in your heart, and be convinced that none is great except God.


But the very brave knight of Christ, shunning the devil’s threats, prayed all the more fervently within the cave that God would direct his path. He endured great suffering and mental anxiety, unable to rest until he accomplished in action what he had conceived in mind. – Live calmly and do not worry excessively, for the Holy Spirit, to work effectively in us, needs tranquility and calm. 


Different thoughts followed one after the other, and their relentlessness disturbed him even more severely. For he was burning inwardly with a divine fire, unable to conceal outwardly the flame kindled in his soul. He repented that he had sinned so grievously.- Leave the door of your heart open so that the Lord may work within you.


While his past and present transgressions no longer delighted him, he was not yet fully confident of refraining from future ones. This is why, when he emerged from the cave, he seemed to his companion to have changed into a different man. – Throw yourself confidently into the arms of the heavenly Father with childlike trust and open wide your heart to the charism of the Holy Spirit.



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