Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 4th October 2022: Francis of Assisi (1226)

Helping others Luke 12 Saint Francis Poor Jesus Saint

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 12

St Francis

He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying....'

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember St Francis of Assisi who left a life of luxury to devote his life to God after receiving a vision to rebuild the Christian church and to live in poverty. He was born c1181 CE and wes known for drinking and partying, as well as for his charm and vanity as a young man. In a battle between Assisi and Perugia he was captured and imprisoned. Most of his companions were killed but he was held for ransom. On leaving prison he abandoned his previous life, to spend time in remote mountain hideaways in prayer, and to nurse lepers. His attempt to embrace a Christ-like poverty was radical at a time when the church was extremely rich, but his mission to restore original values to it drew thousands to him. His followers were to become Franciscan friars. In 1224 he reportedly received the marks of the stigmata (wounds like those suffered by Jesus at the crucifixion), and he died in 1226, aged 44, in Assisi. He was canonized two years later and is the patron saint of ecologists, reflecting his love of animals and nature.

Today, in this worrying time (through war, climate change, or financial stress), Francis has two things to teach us:

  • not to worry about how we shall live, but put our trust in God.
  • to continue helping those less fortunate than ourselves.


Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank you for the example of Saint Francis,
who though he lived a wealthy life
gave it up to embrace poverty
and to teach the people of his world
true Christian values.
May we too learn to give
away all that we can
to help those who are struggling,
and in so doing
live a less material life.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to know about the Anglican Order of St Francis, which includes lay people:

Or be reminded of this prayer which we associate with him:

  • Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (Prayer for Peace)

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.

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