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Friday, October 04, 2013

An Instrument of Peace, the Feast of Saint Francis

In these times, difficult and otherwise, it helps to reflect on the time when the Christian World went careening toward Capitalism and The Holy Crusades during the 12th and 13th centuries. A voice went out and upward to call humanity toward a more humane and simple direction.

Giovanni Bernardone, the son of a merchant and one time soldier/knight experienced metanoia, a change of heart. Many would call it conversion. His message encompassed simplicity as a virtue, working for daily bread, and celebrating nature as a manifestation of the divine. His mother was French, although he was born in Italy and he became known as Francesco. He kissed lepers. He went to speak to Moslems and although he did not convert them, the experience blessed all involved. His original followers were simple brothers who wandered throughout Central Italy celebrating everyday life.

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