Saint Francis of Assisi was the son of a rich cloth merchant. He had a good education and became part of his father’s business. Francis was also a street brawler and some-time soldier. Captured during a conflict in Italy, he spent over a year as a prisoner of war. During this time, Francis had a conversion experience. It was a message from Christ calling him to leave this worldly life. Once Francis was released, he began to take his faith seriously. He took Jesus as his role model and followed the rules of the Gospel. Saint Francis dressed in rough clothes and preached purity and peace; his family disapproved and his father disinherited him. Saint Francis visited hospitals, served the sick, and preached in the streets. He gained many followers and founded the Franciscans. After some time, he left to meditate in the mountains where he received the stigmata, which periodically bled during the remaining two years of his life.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console. To be understood, as to understand. To be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned. And it's in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.