Italian Catholic Friar and Preacher, Founder of Men's Franciscan Order and Women's Order of Saint Clare and Lay Third Order of Saint Francis
"Let those who belong to the devil hang their heads - we ought to be glad and rejoice in the Lord. Let the Brothers take care that they do not present the appearance of hypocrites, with dark and cast down mien. But that they show themselves glad in the Lord, cheerful and worthy of love, and agreeable."
"Let us all love the Lord God with all [our] heart, all [our] soul, with all [our] mind and all [our] strength and with fortitude and with total understanding, with all of our powers, with every effort, every affection, every emotion, every desire, and every wish. He has given and gives to each one of us [our] whole body, [our] whole soul, and [our] whole life. He created us and redeemed us, and will save us by His mercy alone. He did and does every good thing for us [who are] miserable and wretched, rotten and foul-smelling, ungrateful and evil."
"Let us, therefore, have charity and humility and give alms because it washes the stains of our sins from our clothes. For people lose everything they leave behind in this world; but they carry with them the rewards of charity and the alms which they gave, for which they will have a reward and a just retribution from the Lord."
"Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
"Lord, I am an unworthy and sinful man; the consolation you have sent me from heaven I return into your hands; if not, I should feel like a thief appropriating your treasure for myself."
"Listen, sons of the Lord and my brothers, pay attention to my words. Incline the ear of your heart and obey the voice of the Son of God. Observe His commands with your whole heart and fulfill His counsels with a perfect mind. Give praise to Him since He is good and exalt Him by your deeds (Tob. 13:6), for He has sent you into the entire world for this reason: that in word and deed you may give witness to His voice and bring everyone to know what there is no one who is all-powerful except Him. Preserve in disciple and holy obedience and with a firm and good purpose fulfill what you have promised to Him."
"Let us desire nothing else, let us wish for nothing else, let nothing else please us and cause us delight except our Creator and Redeemer and Savior, the one true God, Who is the Fullness of Good all good, every good, the true and supreme good, Who alone is Good merciful and gentle, delectable and sweet, Who alone is holy, just and true, holy and right, Who alone is kind, innocent, pure, from Whom and through Whom and in Whom is all pardon, all grace, all glory, of all the penitent and the just, of all the blessed who rejoice together in heaven. Therefore, let nothing hinder us nothing separate us or nothing come between us. Let all of us, wherever we are, in every place, at every hour, at every time of day, every day and continually, believe truly and humbly, and keep in [our] heart, and love, honor, adore, service, praise and bless, glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks to, the most high and supreme eternal God, Trinity and Unity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Creator of all, Savior of all who believe in Him and hope in Him and love Him, Who is without beginning and without end, unchangeable, invisible, indescribable, ineffable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, blessed, worthy of praise, glorious, exalted on high, sublime, most high, gentle, loveable, delectable and totally desirable above all else forever. Amen."
"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, It is in dying . . . that we are born to eternal life."
"Love has cast me into a furnace, love has cast me into a furnace, I am cast into a furnace of love. My new Bridegroom, the loving Lamb, gave me the nuptial ring; then having cast me into prison, He cleft my heart, and my body fell to the ground. Those arrows, propelled by love, struck me and set me on fire. From peace He made war, and I am dying of sweetness. The darts rained so thick and fast, that I was all in agony. Then I took a buckler, but the shafts were so swift that it shielded me no more; they mangled my whole body, so strong was the arm that shot them. He shot them so powerfully, that I despaired of parrying them; and to escape death, I cried with all my might: 'Thou transgressest the laws of the camp.' But he only set up a new instrument of war, which overwhelmed me with fresh blows. So true was His aim, that He never missed. I was lying on the ground, unable to move my limbs. My whole body was broken, and I had no more sense than a man deceased; Deceased, not by a true death, but through excess of joy. Then regaining possession of my body, I felt so strong, that I could follow the guides who led me to the court of heaven."
"My brother, when thou seest a poor man, behold in him a mirror of the Lord, and of His poor Mother. In the sick, in like manner, consider that He bore our sicknesses."
"O Divine Master, grant that I may not 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. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
"Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still, when you delight in your vices and sins."
"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them wherever they require it."
"No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves."
"Pause and reflect, for the day of death is approaching. I beg you, therefore, with all possible respect, not to forget the Lord or turn away from His commandments by reason of the cares and preoccupations of this world, for all those who are oblivious of Him and turn away from His commands are cursed and will be totally forgotten by Him (Ex. 33:13). And when the day of death does come, everything which they think they have will be taken from them. And the wiser and more powerful they may have been in this world, so much greater will be the punishments they will endure in hell (cf. Wis. 6:7)"
"Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given."
"Should there be a brother anywhere in the world who has sinned, no matter how great soever his fault may be, let him not go away after he has once seen thy face without showing pity towards him; and if he seek not mercy, ask him if he does not desire it. And by this I will know if you love God and me."
"See, you blind ones, you who are deceived by your enemies: by the flesh, the world, and the devil; because it is sweet to the body to commit sin and it is bitter for it to serve God; because all vices and sins come forth and proceed from the heart of man, as the Lord says in the Gospel (cf. Mk. 7:21). And you have nothing in this world or in [that world] to come. And you think you posses the vanities of this world for a while, but you are deceived, since the day and the hour will come to which you give no thought [that of which] you have no knowledge and [of which] you are ignorant. The body becomes sick, death approaches, and this man dies a bitter death. And no matter when or how a man dies in the guilt of sin without doing penance and satisfaction if he is able to perform satisfaction and does not, the devil snatches up his soul from his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it."
"Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
"Such was the will of the Father that his Son, blessed and glorious, whom he gave to us, and who was born for us, should by his own blood, sacrifice, and oblation, offer himself on the altar of the cross, not for himself, by whom all things were made, but for our sins, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps."
"St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden when someone asked what he would do if he were suddenly to learn that he would die before sunset that very day. “I would finish hoeing my garden”, he replied."
"That person sins who wishes to receive more from his neighbor than what he is willing to give of himself to the Lord God."
"The rule and life of these brothers is this: to live in obedience, in chastity, and without anything of their own, and to follow the teaching and the footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who says: 'If you wish to be perfect go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.' And, 'If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me'. Again, 'If anyone wishes to come to me and does not hate father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple' (Lk. 14:26). And: 'Everyone who has left father or mother, brothers or sisters, wife or children, houses or lands because of me, shall receive a hundredfold and shall possess eternal life' (cf. Mt. 19:29, Mk. 10:29, Lk. 18:30)"
"The truly pure of heart are those who despise the things of earth and seek the things of heaven, and who never cease to adore and behold the Lord God living and true with a pure heart and soul."
"The Lord called me by the way of simplicity and humility, and this way He hath shown me in truth for me and those who will believe and imitate me. And therefore I would that ye name not to me any rule, neither of St. Augustine, nor St. Benedict, nor of Bernard, nor any way or form of living, but that which was mercifully shown and given me by the Lord."
"The Lord said to Adam: Eat of every tree; do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He was able to eat of every tree of paradise since he did not sin as long as he did not go against obedience. For the person eats of the tree of knowledge of good who appropriates to himself his own will and thus exalts himself over the good things which the Lord says and does in him; and thus, through the suggestion of the devil and the transgression of the command, what he eats becomes for him the fruit of the knowledge of evil. Therefore it is necessary that he bear the punishment."
"The secret consciousness of duty well performed; the public voice of praise that honors virtue, and rewards it; all these are yours."
"Those who do not wish to taste how sweet the Lord is and love the darkness rather than the light (Jn. 3:19), not wishing to fulfill the commands of God, are cursed: of them the prophet says: They are cursed who stray from your commands (Ps. 118:21). But Oh, how happy and blessed are those who love God and do as the Lord Himself says in the Gospel: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself (Mt. 22:37, 39)."
"Though I should speak with the tongue of men and of angels, and have not charity, nor show to my neighbor an example of virtue, I should be of little service to him, and none to myself."
"Therefore, all brothers must beware of all pride and vainglory. And let us keep ourselves from the wisdom of this world and the prudence of the flesh (Rom. 8:6). For the spirit of the flesh desires and is most eager to have words, but [it cares] little to carry them out. And it does not seek a religion and holiness in the interior spirit, but it wishes and desires to have a religion and holiness outwardly apparent to people. And these are the ones of whom the Lord says: Truly I say to you: They have received their reward (Mt. 6:2) But the Spirit of the Lord wishes the flesh to be mortified and despised, worthless and rejected. And it strives for humility and patience, and the pure and simple and true peace of the spiritual person. And above all things it always longs for the divine fear and the divine wisdom and the divine love of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
"We can never know how patient or humble someone is when everything is going well with him. But when those who should cooperate with him do exactly the opposite, then we can know. A man has as much patience and humility as he has then, and no more."
"We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way."
"We should have no more use or regard for money in any of its forms than we have for dust. Those who think it is worth more, or who are greedy for it, expose themselves to the danger of being deceived by the devil."
"What have you to be proud of? If you were so clever and learned that you knew everything and could speak every language, so that the things of heaven were an open book to you, still you could not boast of that. Any one of the demons once knew more about the things of heaven, and now knows more about the things of earth, than any human being, even one who might have received from God a special revelation of the highest wisdom."
"When you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
"What then is true joy? I return from Perugia and arrive here in the dead of night; and it is winter time, muddy and so cold that icicles have formed on the edges of my habit and keep striking my legs, and blood flows from such wounds. And all covered with mud and cold, I come to the gate and after I have knocked and called for some time, a brother comes and asks: 'Who are you?' I answer: 'Brother Francis.' And he says: 'Go away; this is not a proper hour for going about; you may not come in.' And when I insist, he answers: 'Go away, you are a simple and a stupid person; we are so many and we have no need of you. You are certainly not coming to us at this hour!' And I stand again at the door and say: 'For the love of God, take me in tonight.' And he answers: 'I will not, Go to the Crosiers' place and ask there.' I tell you this: If I had patience and did not become upset, there would be true joy in this and true virtue and the salvation of the soul.'"
"When a man envies his brother the good that God says or does through him, it is like committing a sin of blasphemy, because he is really envying God, who is the only source of every good."
"Where there is charity and wisdom there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance. Where there is poverty with joy, there is neither covetousness nor avarice. Where there is inner peace and meditation, there is neither anxiousness nor dissipation. Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the house, there the enemy cannot gain entry. Where there is mercy and discernment, there is neither excess nor hardness of heart."