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Saint Francis Novena | Day One: Conversion

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Why Saint Francis Belongs on the Birdbath

Since his death, Saint Francis of Assisi has been the subject of some of the world’s most admired works of art. His image is also found quite often in what we call the popular arts: in the form of greeting cards, plastic statues, medallions and plaques. These forms of art often get mixed reviews.
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Saint Francis’ Message: God’s House Is All of Creation

  As Francis of Assisi looked out of his cave and down to Assisi from the heights of Mount Subasio, it was as if the whole of creation were spread out beneath his cave, and God’s goodness rushed in upon him. He could only think of that pure Goodness and how God shares his life with us. Everything good and beautiful comes from God.
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My Visit to Padre Pio's Tomb

A few years ago, 14 pilgrims and I visited the tomb of Saint Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo in southern Italy. In this small town on a barren mountainside, Padre Pio in 1917 began an assignment at the Capuchin Friary and Church of Our Lady of Grace. There he remained until his death on September 23, 1968.
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How Saint Francis Experienced Conversion

Everybody knows Saint Francis as a pillar of humility, simplicity, and grace. What few realize is that the young Francesco Bernardone was born into privilege, spoiled, and hungry for fame on the battlefield. But that was not to be. God had grander plans for Francis.
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Our Belief in God

In his lifetime, Jesus’ mission was not about building himself up. He came to love and to save every human being. And he would do that no matter what the cost—even death on the cross. He worked all of his public life to show how much God loved everyone—including those rejected by the religious leaders who were convinced God couldn’t love people who broke the law.
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Notes from a Friar: Encountering a Stranger

Moving is disorienting, no matter how often a person has done it. Bruce and Bryant Hausfeld stopped in recently. They’ve moved so many times that they switch up the biblical phrase, “pilgrims and strangers” and describe themselves as “strange pilgrims”. Anytime a person changes residences, it does feel strange. As our Howell Street Friary moves to join Pleasant Street Friary, I’m returning to a neighborhood I knew long ago that is now quite different.
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Blessed Are the Peacemakers

“Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his people; peace is our gift to each other.” These words, from Holocaust survivor and peace activist Elie Wiesel, are my go-to on Franciscan Media’s social channels whenever a mass shooting befouls our country. Needless to say, I’ve tweeted these words far too often.
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My Interview with Padre Pio

I first met Padre Pio in 1967, the year before his death. He was old and very ill. As a journalist, I went to his home in San Giovanni Rotondo on assignment, and I had the opportunity to speak with him on two occasions. I was extremely impressed, not so much by the stories of miracles that people told about him but by the extraordinary moral strength that emanated from his whole being.
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Following Saints Francis and Clare

Franciscan Father Greg Friedman says that Saint Francis of Assisi found a way to communicate his personal experience of God with those around him and with his followers. "I think what's attractive about Francis," he says, "is that he found a way to bridge the gap between our human perceptions and divinity." Clare understood that as well.
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