Hard to write something new about Saint Francis of Assisi, one of the most beloved saints and revered by the Catholic Church, proclaimed along with Saint Catherine of Siena the main patron saint of Italy by Pope Pius XII. Moreover, it is no coincidence. St. Francis could, more than any other saint, master the inheritance of Jesus Christ in an intense and total way; a man, poor among poor ones, the last between the last ones, until becoming through his extreme lifestyle choice, the sacrifice, the preaching, the stigmata in his flesh, like a new incarnation. For that time this revolutionary approach and moving in its intensity, made Saint Francis of Assisi disliked and misunderstood by his contemporaries, but he created immediately sympathy and spirit of emulation in whomever was looking for an authentic faith.
Imitator and follower of the poor and crucified Christ, St. Francis was able to remind a great Christian truth to all those who had forgotten it, life associated with that of Christ on the cross as an irreplaceable means of salvation. He reminded those who had lost their way that nothing comes without going through great sacrifice, that one must carry his cross with pride, holding on to it every day to improve, to aspire to a reborn worthy and full. To be born again, just like Saint Francis of Assisi, to a really new life.
Furthermore, St. Francis could first instill a sense of belonging to a community of devout believers in the body and spirit in a common Faith. Even today friars, nuns, seminarians aspirants, Secular Franciscan Order, young devotees and admirers and friends of Saint Francis, are like members of a real family, together by a concrete sign of Christian devotion, but especially by a commitment to life in the sign of Christ, poor and crucified. Despite the passage of more than seven centuries Saint Francis of Assisi is still a symbol of hope and renewal of the Church, for peace in the world, respect for men and for creation.
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