Feast of St Francis, 4 October 2014

Feast of St Francis of Assisi

Saturday  4 October 2014


Pope Francis was the first pope to take the name ‘Francis’.  No one else, you could say, in almost 800 years of Church history, dared to be call himself Francis. Such is the popularity of the saint of Assisi and such is the reverence and awe in which he is held by Christians and non-Christians alike. For a pope to assume that name,  meant that he would have to, in some way at least, imitate the humility, simplicity, joyfulness, and spirit of love which was so evident in the saint himself.


At the conclave in which he was elected  in March 2013, a cardinal seated beside him said to Cardinal Bergoglio, “ don’t forget the poor”. And like the saint of Assisi, Pope Francis, since his election  has again and again spoken about the poor, the suffering and the outcasts of society and how he wants “a church that is poor and for the poor”. The Church’s mission, he says, “must be focused on Jesus Christ and her commitment to the poor”.


Focusing our lives on Jesus Christ, living simply so that others may simply live, being generous and caring towards the poor, sick, and suffering, and sharing the joy of the Gospel with others  - was the message St Francis preached by the example of his own life. 


The annual feast of St Francis again confronts each one of us with this Gospel challenge.