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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

‘Doing Penance’...

There are two versions of Francis’ “Exhortations” to laypeople who wanted to share his Gospel way of life in the single or married state. The older version, tentatively dated between 1209 and 1215, has two sections: one addressed to “Those who do penance” and the other addressed to “Those who do not do penance.”

In the first section, Francis encourages people to receive the Eucharist and to produce “fruits worthy of penance.” The second part encourages those not presently engaged in conversion of life to start doing penance. This text is so important that it now serves as the prologue to the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.

The later, much longer version may have been written about 1220, and is sometimes titled “The Letter to the Faithful.” Francis reflects on Jesus, the Eucharist, confession, conversion, and almsgiving. He encourages his readers not to become angry with another person’s faults but, “with all patience and humility,” to admonish and encourage that person. This text, filled with biblical quotes, ends with encouragement to practice Jesus’ words “with humility and love.”

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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Photo: 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."