Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Possibilities Quotes - St. Francis of Assisi

            When I wrote about my One Little Word last week, I referred to a wonderful website with 50 beautiful quotes connected to my word, POSSIBILITIES.  I also wrote that it might be fun to research those whose words were highlighted.  The first was St. Francis of Assisi.  I am not an expert, but after reading a child’s book, and then articles from the Catholic church online, I have learned a fair amount.  And Valentine’s Day is coming, a day of love.  If nothing else, I have connected St. Francis, or Giovanni Bernardore, commonly known as Francesco (founder of the Franciscan order) in a love story.  And where else might we tell this love story than in a sonnet?  According to the research I found, the earliest sonnets were written between 1220 and 1250 A.D.  St. Francis of Assisi died in 1226 A.D.

           Here is the quote:  "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi  from The Heart of Innovation.

                 A Beginning Story

Francesco, early Master Bernardore,
idled away with wealthy boys in town,
caroused freely with father’s wealth before
compassion for the poor and fallen down.

As told, one day, a poor man begged for food;
Francesco’s act described is that he shared
the few coins in his pockets- grasped for good,
equaling more than change to him named fair.

His time given helping the wretched poor,
Serving them most kindly despite the strife;
downtrodden was his byword--nothing more,
scorned the rich, loved poverty as his wife.

St. Francis he became in later years,
Modeling love to all- ignoring jeers.

        St. Francis is said to be the most popular of all the saints, primarily for his universal love of all things.  He is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment. 

photo credit: realworldracingphotog via photopin cc


  1. I'm not Catholic either altho my husband is.
    I have always been partial to St. Francis - at school we talk about him at Valentine's. Great post on him.
    My favourite prayer is attributed to him:

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
    to be understood, as to understand;
    to be loved, as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive.
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

    1. I almost included this, Beverley. Thank you for doing so. Isn't it beautiful!

  2. I, too, am partial to the saint my family always (blasphemously, but with utmost adoration and respect--heckling is in our blood) referred to as "St. Frank the Sissy." I am ashamed to admit this in the case that it offends, but he earned the nickname by being so closely acquainted with us. We had a statue of him always watching over our walkway. Your sonnet is a loving tribute...and the prayer a beautiful reminder his love.

    1. That's a funny story, Christy. I guess if you look at him in one way, one might think "sissy". Thanks for sharing it with me.

  3. He is my favorite saint, too, along with Saint Joan of Arc. They are yin and yang, I guess :-)

    1. From all I've read, he has been a favorite of many all through the years. I enjoyed learning about him. Thanks, Tabatha.

  4. Our parish is named after St. Francis of Assisi - here in Singapore. I know I must have learned about his life when I was younger because I studied in a Catholic all-girls school from first grade all the way to my high school years - but a lot of the details are hazy by now. I can remember St. Augustine's life a little better primarily because the nuns who are in charge of our school are from that order. Thanks for sharing this, dear Linda.


Thanks for visiting!