Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“Continuing our catechesis on the Christian culture of the Middle Ages, we now turn to Saint Francis of Assisi, one of the greatest figures of the Church’s history. The story of Saint Francis’ life and conversion, and his complete devotion to Christ, poor and suffering, is well known. After gathering a small group of companions and followers, including Saint Clare, Francis sought the approval of Pope Innocent III for his movement which was completely committed to the renewal of the Church in holiness and to the preaching of the Gospel.
Near the end of his life, Francis’ configuration to the Crucified Lord culminated in his reception of the stigmata at La Verna. His deep piety found expression in a great devotion to the Eucharist, as the sacrament of Christ’s real presence, and his love for creation as God’s handiwork.
The life and teaching of Saint Francis has inspired countless people to the imitation of Christ through the embrace of inward and outward poverty. May his example teach us ever greater love for the Lord and his Church, and help us to know the immense spiritual joy born of the imitation of Christ and the pursuit of holiness”