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Holy Quotes from Franciscan Saints

Posted by Robert Ellsberg on 6/27/18 7:00 AM

The Franciscan Saints

In my book, The Franciscan Saints, I selected more than a hundred Franciscans—many, but not all, drawn from the long list of official Franciscan saints. 

Beginning with the founders, Francis and Clare and their first generation of followers, they include friars, women religious, and the diverse family of tertiary or Third Order Franciscans, a company comprised of laypeople, clergy, and even popes.

As the original Franciscan message spread like wildfire through the kingdoms of Europe, many of the early followers were sons and daughters of royalty, suddenly moved to renounce their power and privilege. There followed preachers and penitents, hermits and vagabonds, poets, theologians, missionaries and martyrs. Some of them lived in organized religious communities. Others were immersed in the world of family, work, and secular life. And yet they are linked by a family resemblance. Among the notable features: evangelical zeal, humility and simplicity of life, closeness to the poor, a spirit of prayer, and a certain freedom from the cares of a world preoccupied with greatness, power, and grandiose ambitions.

Clearly, the influence of Saint Francis extends beyond the company of his avowed followers. Here is a collection of quotes from some of his followers—starting with Francis himself.


  • Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Brother Sun, who is the day through whom you give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
    Saint Francis of Assisi

  • Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal. Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world, which passes like a shadow. Do not let false delights of a deceptive world deceive you.
    Saint Clare of Assisi

  • Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.
    Saint Anthony of Padua

  • How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it for me!
    Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

  • As I hope in thee, O Lord, inspire me with that confidence, which brings me to thy holy mountain.
    Saint Agnes of Assisi

  • Since happiness is nothing else than the enjoyment of the supreme good, and the supreme good is above us, no one can enjoy happiness unless he rises above himself.
    Saint Bonaventure 

  • In losing all, the soul has risen 
    To the pinnacle of the measureless; 
    Because it has renounced all 
    That is not divine, 
    It now holds in its grasp 
    The unimaginable Good 
    In all its abundance, 
    A loss and a gain impossible to describe.
    Blessed Jacopone of Todi


  • This morning my soul is greater than the world since it possesses you, you whom heaven and earth do not contain.
    Saint Margaret of Cortona

  • Be a Catholic: When you kneel before an altar, do it in such a way that others may be able to recognize that you know before whom you kneel.
    Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe 

  • We should ever be grateful for and love the vocation to which God has called us. This applies to every vocation because, after all, what a privilege it is to serve God, even in the least capacity!
    Blessed Solanus Casey

  • We should ever be grateful for and love the vocation to which God has called us. This applies to every vocation because, after all, what a privilege it is to serve God, even in the least capacity!
    Saint John XXIII 

  • My past, O Lord, to your mercy; my present, to your love; my future to your providence.
    Saint Padre Pio

  • God will not ask us how eloquently we have spoken, but how well we have lived.
    Venerable Matt Talbot 

  • I think the difference between me and some people is that I'm content to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things in order to make change. But if each one would light a candle we'd have a tremendous light.
    Servant of God Thea Bowman

  • When I don’t know what’s next, I get down on my knees and pray, Lord, take me, mold me, fashion me, show me what You want. Then I watch and listen, and it will come.
    Mychal Judge, OFM

The Franciscan Saints

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