St. Francis’s feast day is October 4. He was born in about 1181 to a well-to-do family but renounced material possessions in his young adult years.
After the example of Christ, Francis had gathered together twelve companions and sent them through the world to preach by two and two. And he himself was the first to go. Taking Friar Masseo as his companion, he journeyed toward the province of France. And coming to a village one day and being very hungry, they went, according to the Rule, begging bread for the love of God; and St. Francis went through one street and Friar Masseo through another. But because St. Francis was a man too pitiful and small of body, and was esteemed a vile beggar therefore by those who knew him not, he got only some mouthfuls and fragments of dry bread; whereas to Friar Masseo, because he was tall and beautiful of body, were given good pieces and large and in plenty and fresh cut from the loaf.
So when they had finished begging they met together to eat outside the village in a place where there was a beautiful fountain with a fair large stone beside it, whereupon each of them laid all of the bread which he had begged; and when St. Francis saw that the Friar Masseo’s pieces of bread were more plentiful and better and larger than his, he showed very great joy thereat, and spoke after this manner: “O Friar Masseo, we are not worthy of so great treasure”; and when he had repeated these words many times, Friar Masseo replied: “Father, how is it possible to speak of treasure where there is such great poverty and lack of all things needful? Here is neither tablecloth, nor knife, nor  platter, nor bowl, nor house, nor table, nor man-servant, nor maidservant.” Said St. Francis: “And this is that which I esteem great treasure, where there is nothing prepared by human effort; but that which there is, is prepared by the Divine Providence, as may be manifestly seen in the bread which we have begged, in this beautiful table of rock and in this clear spring. Wherefore I will that we pray God that He make us to love with our whole heart the noble treasure of holy Poverty, which has God for its serving-man.”
The Little Flowers of Saint Francis

Comments are closed.