Traditional Mass

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Continued . . .

Continuing with Question #40: What did St. Francis of Assisi think of the Mass?


Of eight letters written by St. Francis which we possess, five are in great part--or even exclusively--devoted to the Eucharist:
The letter to all the faithful.
The letter to the General Chapter.
The letter to all clerics.
The letter to all superiors of the Order.
The letter to all leaders of the people.
In addition to these official letters, should be mentioned:
All his Rules, in which the Eucharist plays a leading role.
His testament.
His first admonition (the longest).

"We have living among us from the Son of God," wrote St. Francis, "His most sacred Word, and His most Sacred Body."
His living Body, His living Word! Here we have in a nutshell, the two parts of the Mass.
The Mass is Christ's Sacrifice. St. Francis places it in the very center of the Christian religion. For a "plain man without learning," as St. Francis styled himself, he turns out to be a pretty deep theologian!
It is not necessary to recall here his reverence for and veneration of the Holy Scriptures--the Lord's living Word--for St. Francis was a living Gospel.

"The Precious Blood of the Son of God," he wrote, "has been for mankind the price of their redemption, a purifying bath, and the beverage that sustains their strength."
In the Eucharist, Christ draws us toward His Father with an irresistible impetus. "Lives" of St. Francis relate that the saint received Holy Communion often, and so piously that his devotion was communicated to others.

In the thirteenth century, St. Francis launched an immense Eucharistic movement. Franciscans outstanding in this movement include St. Paschal Baylon, patron of Eucharistic works and congresses, and Fr. Joseph Plantanida of Termo, who founded the Forty Hours Devotion.
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life,' to be continued . . .]