St Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi who was born in 1181, grew up in a life of luxury and abandoned it for a life devoted to Christianity. He reportedly heard the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. He is the patron saint of animals and the environment. St Francis is an excellent role model for a Christian journey to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is known for setting up the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and for his work helping the poor and befriending outcasts like the lepers. The three orders today are worldwide and clergy and lay people are welcome to join the Third Order and continue to follow their ordinary professions of life. In a sense, every Christian needs to be a risk-taker for Christ in this generation. Those who stick to the old familiar traditional ways may just about keep us afloat.
Only those who embrace new ways and explore fresh places will reverse decline and bring renewed life. It must be in the spirit of Francis to be part of that creativity.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.