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The Writings Of St Francis Of Assisi


The Writings of St. Francis of Assisi: A Treasure of Spiritual Wisdom

St. Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226) was the founder of the Franciscan order of friars, a preacher, a mystic, and one of the most beloved saints in the history of Christianity. He is also known for his writings, which reflect his deep love for God, nature, and all creatures. His writings include letters, prayers, rules, admonitions, and poems, some of which are attributed to him by tradition.

The writings of St. Francis of Assisi are not only a source of inspiration and devotion for millions of Christians, but also a treasure of spiritual wisdom that can enrich anyone's life. They reveal his simple and joyful approach to God, his profound humility and compassion, his radical detachment from worldly things, and his harmony with creation. They also express his mystical union with Christ, his devotion to the Virgin Mary, and his vision of universal brotherhood.

In this article, we will explore some of the main themes and characteristics of the writings of St. Francis of Assisi, as well as some examples of his most famous works. We will also provide some tips on how to read and apply his writings to our own spiritual journey.

The Themes and Characteristics of the Writings of St. Francis of Assisi

The writings of St. Francis of Assisi can be divided into three categories: normative, hortatory, and devotional. The normative writings are those that establish the rules and regulations for his order and its members. The hortatory writings are those that exhort and instruct his followers on how to live according to the Gospel. The devotional writings are those that express his personal prayer and praise to God.

Some of the common themes that run through all his writings are:

The primacy of love: St. Francis emphasizes that love is the essence of God, the source of all creation, and the goal of all human beings. He urges his followers to love God above all things, to love their neighbors as themselves, and to love even their enemies and persecutors.

The imitation of Christ: St. Francis sees Christ as the perfect model and teacher for his disciples. He invites them to follow Christ in poverty, humility, obedience, service, suffering, and joy. He also encourages them to contemplate Christ's mysteries in his life, death, and resurrection.

The reverence for creation: St. Francis shows a deep respect and appreciation for all creatures as gifts from God and brothers and sisters in Christ. He calls them by familiar names such as Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Fire, Sister Water, etc. He also advocates for their care and protection from harm.

The peace and joy of the Spirit: St. Francis radiates a sense of peace and joy that comes from his trust in God's providence and mercy. He teaches his followers to be content with what they have, to be grateful for everything they receive, to be cheerful in adversity, and to rejoice always in the Lord.

Some of the characteristics that distinguish his writings from other medieval authors are:

The simplicity of style: St. Francis writes in a clear and direct way, using simple words and sentences that convey his message effectively. He avoids complex theological terms and arguments that might confuse or distract his readers.

The use of images and metaphors: St. Francis employs vivid images and metaphors that appeal to the senses and imagination of his audience. He draws from nature, Scripture, liturgy, folklore, etc., to illustrate his points and make them more memorable.

The tone of intimacy and affection: St. Francis addresses his readers as friends and brothers or sisters in Christ. He uses words such as "my dear", "my beloved", "my sweet", etc., to express his closeness and warmth towards them.

The personal testimony: St. Francis often shares his own experiences and feelings in his writings, revealing his inner thoughts and emotions. He also invites his readers to share their own stories and insights with him.


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