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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Francis’ Oldest Prayer...

The oldest writing of St. Francis is probably his “Prayer before the Crucifix,” which dates to 1205 or 1206—very early in his conversion process. In this short prayer, after Francis asks God to enlighten the darkness of his heart, he requests “true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense, and knowledge” (translation in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents). With these gifts, Francis will be able to carry out God’s “holy and true command.”

This is a very open-ended prayer, acknowledging God as the source of these gifts and Francis as the one responsible for allowing them to bear fruit through his actions. What it meant for Francis in his 20s grew into a much more profound prayer by the time Francis died at the age of 44. In his 1226 “Testament,” Francis asked the friars to use this prayer whenever they entered a church or even saw one from afar: “We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, in all your churches throughout the whole world, and we bless you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

May we imitate Francis’ deep and honest prayer!

This blog was taken from Pat McCloskey’s “Dear Reader” column in St. Anthony Messenger.

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Image in the public domain/Wikimedia Commons

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."