Tag Archives: St. Francis

‘Humanity’ in animals

We humans like to think of ourselves as “like gods” who are superior to the real God’s other creations. We use the word “animal” as an insult, calling the most depraved among us “animals” when it is we “enlightened” humans who consciously and willfully lie, steal, insult, hurt, scheme, plot, plunder, and murder for profit or pleasure. Then to top it off, we use the intelligence that God gives us to justify our deeds with elaborate rationalization.

Saint Bonaventure called animals “creatures without sin” for, unlike humans, they are not born with “the mark” — fomes peccati, tinder for sin.

Saint Francis saw the “humanity” in non-human creatures. He talked to birds and animals, and even preached to them.

Take a look at these pictures. Do you not see their “humanity”? — of intelligence, loving “tolerance” of another species, parental love, unspoken friendship, and quiet companionship . . . .

And then there is their sheer, breathtaking beauty, which no human can match:

Did you know that animals have empathy? — that attribute on which human morality is founded (“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” -Matthew 7:12), but which human narcissists and psychopaths lack. See:

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV

~Eowyn

Advertisements

St. Francis of Assisi’s end times prophecy and the two popes

St. Francis of AssisiSt. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

At the end of the book, Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi (London: R. Washbourne, 1882), is a section titled “Some Prophecies of the Holy Father St. Francis.” On pp. 248-250 is the following prophecy about the Church (paragraph breaks added):

Shortly before he died in 1226, St. Francis of Assisi called together the members of his order and warned them of great tribulations that would befall the Church in the future, saying:

Act bravely, my Brethren; take courage, and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. But the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head [Jesus Christ], these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish [physically] rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.

H/t Yahoo News commenter Sabazios for the St. Francis prophecy.

Below are 6 facts for your reflection and discernment:

Fact No. 1

“Church law says a pope’s resignation is valid only if he takes the decision in full freedom and without pressure from others.” (Reuters)

Fact No. 2

On Feb. 28, 2013, after serving 8 years, Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from the papacy. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294.

Described as “the main intellectual force in the Church” since the mid-1980s, now-Pope Emeritus Benedict was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. A genuine scholar, Benedict’s prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of the West. He regards relativism’s denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions, including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position.

Fact No. 3

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and his spokesmen repeatedly deny he was forced to resign. (Reuters)

Fact No. 4

Despite the denials, speculations that Benedict had been forced to resign persist to this day.

“Two years ago this week, [Pope] Benedict’s announcement that he was stepping down for health reasons shocked the Catholic Church and much of the world. It also loosed conspiracy theorists who believe Benedict was forced to resign…. The circumstances surrounding Benedict’s decision to step down have titillated scholars and the journalists alike, especially given the fact that his resignation came not long after the ‘Vatileaks’ scandal. The release of internal Vatican memos, by some accounts, revealed how Benedict’s efforts to reform the church, like provide transparency on the global sex abuse scandal and the management of the Vatican bank, were undercut by internal politics. (The Atlantic)

Fact No. 5

Homosexuals love Pope Francis:

  • Pro-homo GQ loves the Pope
  • Pope Francis made the cover of Time, New Yorker, Rolling Stone and The Advocate, an LGBT magazine that makes no secret of its problems with previous Popes but chose Francis as “person of the year”. (CNN)

The Advocate's Pope Francis cover

Fact No. 6

The satanic pop singer who calls herself “Madonna” — she who dressed up as the Baphomet in the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show and cavorted with horned masked demons in the recent Grammy Awards show before a cheering crowd also wearing horns — calls Pope Francis “kind of groovy.” (Billboard)

Madonna with demons 2015 Grammy Awards

Draw your own conclusion!

~Éowyn

Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio, “Angel of Mexico”

Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio

Today, the universal Church honors Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio, known as the “Angel of Mexico”.

Sebastian was born of poor Spanish parents.  At 31, he journeyed to Mexico, wherein he began to work very hard taking care of the fields.  He was extremely ingenious, effective and talented, since he was known for building roads and/or bridges to help agricultural trading and merchandising, also fulfilling general travelling needs.  His 466-mile road that went from Mexico City to Zacatecas took Sebastian ten years to build.  Sebastian also had to deal with the politics that facilitated the building of this road with the indigenous people who lived in the various towns and cities that this road affected.

Sebastian, at the age of 60, being a wealthy farmer and rancher, entered into a “virginal  marriage” with a lady who did not have enough money for a dowry, allowing her to live a proper and respectable life.  His first wife died and he once again, entered into a second such marriage for the same reason, with his second wife dying at a young age.

There is no end to Sebastian’s generosity and kindness.  At the age of 72, he distributed all of his personal property to the poor and entered into the Franciscan order as a brother.  He was assigned to the 100-member friary at Puebla de los Angeles, south of Mexico City.  For the next 25 years, Francis collected alms for the friars.

For the sake of background, the Franciscan order provided that all of the friars were to work for their bread.  But many times, whilst the Franciscans were serving the poor and the lepers, they had no monies to give them.  Hence, begging for alms was then permitted.

St. Francis demanded that the friars give good examples, that they live their lives pursuant to what they preach.  One time, St. Francis entered a town with his brothers, wherein the brothers expected St. Francis to preach.  He did not say a word to the people.  When questioned by his brothers why he did not speak, St. Francis said, “Speak the Gospel constantly, and when necessary, use words.”  St. Francis explained that just by walking through the town as they did, treating people with kindness and love, was the highest manner of preaching.  Certainly, Sebastian truly lived his life in a Christ-like manner as has been set forth above.  Therefore, he preached incessantly!  Nevertheless, St. Francis gave the brothers this maxim:

“There is a contract between the world and the friars.  The friars must give the world a good example; the world must provide for their needs.  When they break faith and withdraw their good example, the world will withdraw its hand in a just censure.”  (2 Celano, #70).

Sebastian’s wonderful charity and generosity up to and including his age in the 90’s, earned him the name, “Angel of Mexico”.  In 1787, Sebastian was beatified, and received the honor of being called, “Blessed”.

What a wonderful man!  His compassion, empathy, kindness and generosity is what Jesus requires of us!  The thought came to my mind what the famous French priest, St. Vincent de Paul, said, “Be kind, be kind, be kind, and you will be a saint!”  Let us attempt to follow the example of dear Blessed Sebastian.  We send you our love dear Blessed one, and we thank you for your wonderful example of being “Jesus in disguise“.

With love and respect,

Joan

Source:  Vatican website

St. Berard and Companions

St. Berard and companions

Today, January 16th, the universal Church celebrates great saints having incredible courage and love, six Franciscan Friars, all martyrs.

In or about 1219, six Franciscan Friars accepted a challenging assignment from St. Francis, to go to Morocco and preach the Gospel by word and deed, announcing Christ to the Muslims.  Consequently, Friars Berard, Peter, Adjustus, Accursio, Vitalis and Odo traveled by ship, a long, arduous and taxing journey.  They arrived in Seville, Spain, wherein they immediately began their assignment preaching the Gospel of Jesus in the public forums and in the streets to the people there.  The officials thought they were crazy and hence, they were arrested.  These brave individuals requested to see the sultan himself; hence, they were sent to Morocco.

The sultan actually gave these Friars freedom to preach in the city, but those people receiving their message objected and lodged complaints about them.  The sultan, obviously sensing their goodness, sent the Friars to live in Marrakech, which is the west coast of Morocco.  A king prince, Dom Pedro Fernandez, housed them.  Nevertheless, the Friars knew that it was not their mission to stay in a palace, but to preach the Gospel of Good News.  Therefore, they went into the city as much as they could.  Of course, the complaints about their teaching continued.  The sultan took a different approach as he became angry with the ongoing hostilities.  He gave them an ultimatum that they either had to stop their preaching or leave Morocco.  The Friars being true to their mission, declined the sultan’s command and began preaching.  They were then imprisoned, beaten and extended bribes to renounce their Faith in Christ.  They would not do so; accordingly, they were beheaded on January 16th, 1220.

Prince Dom Pedro secured their bodies, bringing their relics to Holy Cross Church in Coimbra, Portugal.  Although at first blush it appeared they failed their mission, this was not the case.  Their lives and sacrifices inspired other Franciscans to become missionaries and martyrs.  Most remarkably, their examples motivated a famous young man to become a Franciscan priest; we know him as St. Anthony of Padua, whose Feast Day is June 13th.

Let us take the courageous, loving and bold examples of these amazing Franciscan Friars to heart.  Remember them when you have to make a decision that has serious consequences, but demands that we do the right.  We are supposed to be Soldiers of Jesus Christ.  Let us continue to keep up the good fight and to remember these holy individuals when we have doubts.

Respectfully,

Joan

Sources:  americancatholic.org; holyspiritinteractive.net