October 2022 Thoughts for the Day by Father Francis Sariego, OFM Cap

                                                     October 2022 

Almighty, eternal, just, and merciful God,

grant to us wretches, by your will, to do what we know you wish,

and ever to wish what pleases you,

in order that, purified in soul, lighted up within,

and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,

we may follow the footsteps of your Son,

our Lord Jesus Christ,

and reach you, Most High, by your grace alone.

For you live and reign and are glorified,

in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, Almighty God

forever and ever.


(Letter to the Chapter)


(daily passages are taken from the Book of Praises) 


Chapter VIII 




When the time of Francis’s warfare in this life finally came to an end, the holy father departed happily to Christ in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord, one thousand, two hundred and twenty-six. He was forty-five years old. It was about twenty years since he turned away from the way of the world. – Why is it easier to break a commandment than a habit?


For two years he wore the habit of a hermit, but in the third year of his conversion he began the new Order of Lesser Brothers in the basilica of the holy Mother of God and ever virgin, Mary, which from ancient times was called Saint Mary of the Angels. Inspired by heaven, Francis assumed a habit under the protection of her whom he cherished with a particular devotion. – God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.


It was in this Order that he completed the rest of his life in all holiness, and in the same place where he started the Order he perfected that most auspicious beginning by a most blessed death. He not only knew beforehand the time of his release from this life, but he also predicted nearly the very day that it would happen. – We can go to sleep in peace because God is awake.


In the very hour of his passing away, he appeared to—among others who saw him ascending into heaven—a holy brother who was absorbed in prayer. He was dressed in a purple dalmatic, accompanied by an innumerable crowd of followers like the greatest of princes in the wonderful beauty of glory. Arriving at a very beautiful place, a palace of amazing size and of a singular abundance of special delights, he entered there with a glorious company of brothers. – The one who does not stay in his littleness loses his greatness.


A most illustrious Roman matron, Lady Jacoba dei Settesoli, very devoted to the man of God, came to visit him with a very large retinue as befitted such a great lady. She administered whatever seemed necessary for his funeral. He, who had taught her in Christ and had named her Brother Jacoba because of the vigor of her virtues, wished to see her before he died. He therefore had her summoned.- Pray, and then start answering your prayer.


But before the messenger left, there was a great clamor outside the door, caused by the horses and attendants of this devoted disciple. She had arrived to visit her most illustrious father and teacher. When the saint saw her, he rejoiced that, as he had hoped, she had been sent by God. – It wasn’t the nails that held Jesus on the cross but His love for us.


After recovering a little in the joy of seeing her, it was thought that the saint would live longer. Lady Jacoba, therefore, decided to send back a part of her retinue, so that she might await the saint’s end with fewer attendants. But the saint forbade this. “I will depart on Saturday evening,” he said. “You can leave with your retinue on the following day.” – Get ready for eternity. You’re going to spend a lot of time there.


On the day and at the hour which he predicted, the saint was gathered to the Lord to live with Him in His eternal mansion. The brothers, bereft of their holy Father, wept. So too did those virgins of Christ, who had followed in his footsteps. With tearful voices they said: “O Father, why are you abandoning us poor women? To whom are you leaving your desolate daughters?“ – If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.


His most holy body was buried at Assisi in the Church of Saint George, where the Monastery of Saint Clare now stands. After a few years a church was built in the saint’s honor near the walls of the city and by the authority of Pope Gregory IX who laid the first stone of the foundation. The site of the church is called the Hill of Paradise. Here his body was brought with great pomp and veneration. – Out of suffering come the strongest souls.


So great a multitude of people had come together for the celebration that the city was not able to contain them, and they camped all around the field like sheep. The aforementioned Lord Pope Gregory, whose personal presence for the celebration of his translation was anticipated as certain, at that time was prevented owing to certain other urgent business of the Church. – In prayer what is important is not to think much but to love much.


He sent nuncios for the purpose with a personal letter which not only explained as necessary the cause of his unexpected absence, but also announced for sure to his sons, whom he comforted with a fatherly affection, that a certain dead man had been brought back to life by blessed Francis.- We are our choices.


Also, through the same nuncios, he sent a gold cross, priceless owing to its work in gems, but containing wood from the cross of Our Lord more precious than all the gold and gems. Besides this, he sent ornaments and several vessels which pertained to the ministry of the altar, and also vestments which were most fitting for solemn uses. – Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind.


He also sent other considerable donations for the expenses connected with the construction of the same building and for the coming celebration. The solemnity of this solemn transferal was enacted on the eighth of the kalends of June, in the year of the Lord one thousand, two hundred and thirty. – Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.

Chapter IX 



As in Francis’s life, so after his passing, the Lord did not cease to magnify his saint by miraculous signs. Some instances of these are offered here. – When you are at peace with who you are, you will be at peace with what you are.


A young girl was brought to his tomb, who, for over a year, had suffered a deformity in her neck so hideous that her head rested on her shoulder and she could only look sideways. She put her head for a little while beneath the coffin in which the treasure of the saint’s body rested, and through the merits of that most holy man she was immediately able to straighten her neck, and her head was restored to its proper position. – When we begin to live more seriously inside, it is then we begin to live more simply outside.


At this the girl was so overwhelmed at the sudden change in herself that she started to run away and to cry. There was a depression in her shoulder where her head had been when it was twisted out of position by her prolonged affliction. – Life with Christ is an endless hope, without Him a hopeless end.


Niccoló of Foligno was so crippled in his left leg that it caused him extreme pain, and because of it his neighbors could not sleep at night because of his cries. When medicine did not help, dedicating himself to Saint Francis, he had himself carried to his tomb. After spending a night there in prayer, his crippled leg was cured and, overflowing with joy, he returned home without a cane. – Affirmation empowers people to be the beautiful person God made them to be.


A boy had one leg so deformed that his knee was pressed against his chest and his heel against his buttocks. He was carried to the tomb of the blessed Francis, and suddenly his health was fully restored. – God’s gifts put our best dreams to shame.


There was also a little girl in Gubbio; her hands and all her limbs were so crippled that for over a year she lost total use of them. Carrying a wax image, she was brought to the tomb of Saint Francis. After she had been there for eight days, one day all her limbs were restored to their proper functions. – Be faithful and God will look after your success.


There was another boy from Montenero lying for several days in front of the doors of the church where the body of Saint Francis rested. Since he was completely paralyzed from the waist down, he could not walk or sit up. One day, when he was brought into the church to touch the tomb, he was completely cured. – The past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.


He said that a young man in the habit of the brothers was on top of the tomb with his hands pointing to a pear which he seemed to offer to him. He stood up taking his extended hand and, leading him outside, he was cured. – If God is kept outside, something must be wrong inside.


There was another citizen from Gubbio. When he brought his crippled son, so crippled and deformed that his legs were completely withered and drawn up under him, to the tomb of the glorious father, he received him back whole and sound.- The same fence that shuts others out, shuts us in.


A girl of Norcia appeared listless for some time and it was eventually clear she was troubled by a devil. For she would often gnash her teeth and tear at herself. She would not avoid dangerous heights nor did she fear any hazard. Then she lost her speech and was deprived of the use of her limbs, and became totally irrational. – True wealth is the good we do in this world.


Her parents were tormented by the confusion of their offspring; they tied her on a stretcher mounted on a draft-animal and took her to Assisi. During the celebration of Mass on the feast of the Lord’s Circumcision, she lay prone before the altar of the saint. Suddenly she vomited, I can’t say what, and then got up on her feet. She kissed the altar, and fully free of her illness she shouted in praise of God and the saint. – Sympathy is two hearts tugging at the same load.


In the diocese of Volterra, Riccomagno could scarcely drag himself along the ground with his hands. His own mother had abandoned him on account of his monstrous swelling. He humbly vowed himself to blessed Francis and was instantly healed. – Humility and self-denial are always admired, but rarely practiced.


Two women from the same diocese were so crippled that they could not move about unless carried by others. They had stripped the skin from their hands attempting to move themselves. By their vow alone were they restored to health. – Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness.


Giacomo from Poggibonsi was so pitiably bent and crippled that his mouth touched his knees. His widowed mother took him to an oratory of blessed Francis and poured out her prayer to the Lord for his recovery; she brought him home healthy and whole. – Make sure the thing you are living for is worth dying for. 


A woman from Vicalvi with a withered hand had it restored to match the other through the merits of the holy father. In the city of Capua a woman vowed to visit in person the tomb of Saint Francis. Because of the press of household matters she forgot her vow, and suddenly lost the use of her right side. On account of pinched nerves she was unable to turn her head or arm in any direction. She had so much pain that she wore her neighbors out with her constant wailing. Two of the brothers happened to pass by her home, and at a priest’s request they stopped to visit the pitiful woman. She confessed to them her unfulfilled vow, and when she received their blessing she at once arose healthy. And now that she was made wiser by punishment, she fulfilled her vow without delay. – All the treasures on earth cannot bring back one lost moment.


Bartolomeo from Narni was sleeping in the shade of a tree when he lost the use of a leg and a foot. Since he was a very poor man, the lover of the poor, Francis appeared to him in a dream and ordered him to go to a certain place. He set out to drag himself there, but had left the direct route when he heard a voice saying to him: “Peace be with you! I am the one to whom you vowed yourself.” Then leading him to the spot, it seemed that he placed one hand upon his foot and the other upon his leg, and thus restored his crippled limbs. This man was advanced in years and had been crippled for six years. – Do what you can, and God will do what you can’t.


In the district of Narni there was a boy whose leg was bent back so severely that he could not walk at all without the aid of two canes. He had been burdened with that affliction since his infancy; he had no idea who his father and mother were, and had become a beggar. This boy was completely freed from that affliction by the merits of the blessed Francis so that he could go freely where he wished without a cane. – Working hard means going all out until we are all in.


In the city of Fano there was a man who was crippled with his legs doubled-up under him. They were covered with sores that gave off such a foul odor that the hospice staff refused to take him in or keep him. But then he asked blessed Francis for mercy and, through his merits, in a short time he rejoiced in being cured. – Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all. 


In the city of Narni there was a woman who for eight years had a withered hand with which she could do no work. Blessed Francis appeared to her in a vision, and stretching her hand, healed it and made it able to work as well as the other.- Life is fragile, handle with prayer.




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