Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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One-Liner Wednesday: If You Think It’s Impossible…

Saint Francis impossible quote

 

Has there ever been a time when you thought you couldn’t do something, but you started anyway? You took one step at a time, and discovered that you could do what you thought was impossible.

Today is the “feast day” of Saint Francis, my favorite Saint and the link between my  love for the earth and my love for Jesus. Here’s a link for more quotes from Saint Francis:

Saint Francis Quotes

 

Beatiful picture of St Francis and wolf

Saint Francis and the “vicious” wolf of Gubbio

One liner Weds 2017

One-liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/10/04/one-liner-wednesday-being-sold-is-exhausting/

 


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Saint Francis Tames a Ferocious Wolf

St Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio

(An imaginary letter  from 13th Century Gubbio, Italy)

My Dear Sister,

As you may remember from my previous letters, there has a been a dangerous wolf terrorizing Gubbio. The large wolf has been seen stealing sheep and goats, and has even taken away small children as well as grown men, or so I have been told. Yesterday, Friar Francis of Assisi, who has been a guest in Gubbio for some time, amazed us all by taming the vicious beast.

The wolf was outside the city walls chasing some sheep, as men gathered with pitchforks, rocks and slings to try to chase the wolf away. Our beloved Francis intervened and asked them to wait. The brave friar walked toward the wolf who snarled viciously and then charged at him with his mouth open. We could see the white of the wolf’s teeth from the city walls.

Then Francis made the sign of the cross, and the wolf stopped suddenly, closed his mouth and crawled on his belly toward the friar to rest at his feet. Francis appeared to speak to  the wolf who became as docile as a lamb and followed Francis back to the city. The friar told the townspeople not to harm the wolf.

“Brother Wolf has acted in evil ways due to his hunger. If you will feed him every day and care for him, he will not harm anyone. I ask you to forgive him and show him God’s mercy,” said Friar Francis.

He asked who would offer a piece of  food to the wolf. I looked down at the loaves of bread I was to deliver to my neighbor, and ignoring all common sense, I broke off a piece and walked toward Francis and the wolf. I do not know what came over me. In spite of the warnings of my friends, I knelt  cautiously before the wolf, and reached out to offer the bread. The wolf took the bread gently from my hand, like an old dog.

The people of Gubbio have promised Friar Francis to feed and care for the wolf, who is becoming a part of our community. We shall see how this unusual truce plays out. What is more unusual: I am considering joining the holy order of this Francis who some are calling a saint. Please do not tell our parents of this yet, as I know they wish for me stay here as the baker’s apprentice, and I am not sure if I will awaken from some dream about a wolf being tamed by a holy man.

My love in Christ,

Your brother, Antonio

______________________________________________________________________

I share my imaginary letter hoping to honor Saint Francis and his upcoming feast day, celebrated October 4th. The following article tells that the wolf lived in Gubbio for two years and offers evidence that there is some truth to the legend.

  “According to tradition, Gubbio gave the wolf an honorable burial and later built the Church of Saint Francis of the Peace at the site. During renovations in 1872, the skeleton of a large wolf, apparently several centuries old, was found under a slab near the church wall and then reburied inside.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_of_Gubbio

One of my favorite sources on Saint Francis is this beautiful book by Robert F. Kennedy Jr:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/797841.Saint_Francis_of_Assisi

Is there a Blessing of the Animals in your church or community honoring Saint Francis this weekend? Does anyone know of a Saint Francis Festival? If so, I’d love to learn about it.


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Honoring Saint Francis

st-francis-of-assisi-and-birds from Robert Kennedy's book

Illustration by Dennis Nolan from Saint Francis of Assisi (A Life of Joy) by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

     Today is the Feast Day of Saint Francis who was born in Assisi in 1182. He was a man ahead of his time. Years ago,  I struggled to find a link between my potentially pagan love for nature and animals and something (maybe a combination of motherhood and compassion fatigue from my job helping others) pulling me back to Jesus. Discovering Saint Francis was one of those “Aha!” moments. It was a relief to find this teacher who could bridge my two beloved spiritual paths to the Creator.

        I  was drawn back to church by a newspaper photo of an animal being blessed at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Back then, Good Shepherd may have been the first church in Southeastern North Carolina to bless animals. It started in the late 60s’ on Rogation Sunday, a time to give thanks for crops and livestock. Since that time, it has become a tradition at Good Shepherd and many other churches to bless the animals on the Sunday closest to the Feast Day of Saint Francis.  Blessing the animals to honor Saint Francis is much more meaningful to me, because our animal companions mean so much more than livestock. (Though I hope all the animals we now call “livestock” will someday be treated more kindly.)

     Our animal friends give us loyalty and patient companionship. They love us no matter what, and hopefully, they teach us mercy.  There’s a sweet little song called “God and Dog” in which Wendy Francisco sings about how dogs reflect the unconditional love of God. Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, understood this relationship.  He cherished animals and the earth, praised the sun and the moon and cared for the lepers because they are all creations of God.

There is a wonderful book, written by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr about Saint Francis of Assisi. One of the stories in this book is a story about Saint Francis convincing a vicious wolf to stop terrorizing the town of Gubbio. Miraculously, “Brother Wolf” lived the rest of his life “peacefully in Gubbio- fed, cared for and loved by the townspeople, because it reminded them of Francis’ visit.

Let us remember today and always the words  of Saint Francis, ” Make me a channel of your peace.”

statue-of-st-francis-of-assisi-gino-rigucci