Healthy Pathways

Back to basics . . . simply & naturally!



Franciscan Stories

1. Lenten Story

2. Perfect Joy

3. St. Ignatius of Laconi

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Franciscan Saints & Blesseds

St. Agnes of Assissi ~ Nov 16; patron of those engaged & bodily purity

Bl. Angela of Foligno ~ Jan 4 incorrupt; patron of those with sexual temptations & widows

St. Anthony of Padua ~ Jun 13; incorrupt tongue; Doctor of the church; patron of lost articles & lost souls, harvests, starvation, pregnant & barren women,  fishermen, sailors, travelers, animals & the poor

St. Bernardine of Siena ~ May 20; patron of advertising, communications, compulsive gambling, public relations,  respiratory problems, & hoarseness

St. Bonaventure ~ July 14/15; Doctor of the church ('the Seraphic Doctor'); patron of Bagnoregio, Italy; intestinal problems,

St. Bridget of Sweden ~ July 23/Oct 8; Founder of Order of Brigettines; patron of  Sweden & Europe & widows

St Catherine of Bologna ~ Mar 9/10; incorrupt; patron of art, artists, temptations, liberal arts & painters

St. Clare ~ Aug 11; Founder of the Poor Clares; patron of embroiderers, eye troubles, TV & telephones

St. Elizabeth of Hungary ~ Nov 17; patron of baking, lace-making, beggars & secular Franciscans

St. Francis of Assissi ~ Oct 4; Founder of Franciscans; patron of animals, ecologists

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini ~ Nov 13; Founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart; patron of emigrants & migrants

St. John Bosco (3rd order) ~ Jan 31; incorrupt; Founder of the Salesians; patron of editors, young people, young workers, apprentices, youth (Mexican)

Bl. John Don Scotus ~ Nov 7; defined the Immaculate Conception

St. John of Capistrano ~ Mar 28/Oct 23; patron of judges, jurists, military chaplains & lawyers

St. John Wall ~July 12/Aug 22/Oct 25 & 29; one of the 40 martyrs of England & Wales

St. Joseph of Cupertino ~ Sept 18; incorrupt; patron of aviators, flyers, astronauts,  students (examinees) & degree candidates

Bl. Juniper Serra ~July 1/Aug 28; Apostle of California

St. Lawrence of Brindisi ~ July 6, 21 & 23; patron of conversions

St. Leopold Mandic ~ May 12/July 30; Apostle of the Confessional

St. Louis IX ~ Aug 25; patron of secular Franciscans

St. Margaret of Cortona ~ Feb 21/22; incorrupt; patron of insanity, mental illness, sexual temptation, falsely accused people, hoboes, the homeless, loss of parents, midwives, penitent women, reformed prostitues, those ridiculed for their piety, single laywomen, tertiaries

Bl. Mary of Agreda ~ incorrupt

St. Maximilian Kolbe ~ Aug 18; patron of drug addicts, families, publishers & political prisoners

St. Pascal Baylon ~ May 17; patron of the Eucharist & shepherds

St. Padre Pio ~ Sept 23

St. Peter of Alacantara ~Oct 19

St. Pierre-Julien Eymard (3rd order) ~ Aug 2; Founder of Servants of the Blessed Sacrament; patron of the Blessed Sacrament

St. Pius X ~ Aug 21 & Sept 3; patron of Holy Communion & sick pilgrims

St. Rose of Viterbo ~ Sept 4 incorrupt; patron of florists & flower growers

St. Thomas More ~ Jun 22 & July 9; patron of lawyers, large families, difficult marriages & politicians

St. Veronica Giuliani ~ July 9 incorrupt







The Lenten Story of St. Francis

(excerpt from the Little Flowers of St. Francis)

The true servant of Christ, St. Francis, was in certain things like a second Christ given to the world for the salvation of souls. Wherefore God the Father willed that in many points he should be conformed to his Son, Jesus Christ, as we have already explained in the calling of his twelve companions, as also in the mystery of the holy stigmata, and in a fast of forty days which he made in the manner following:

St. Francis, one day of the Carnival, was near the Lake of Perugia, in the house of one of his devout children, with whom he had spent the night, when he was inspired by God to go and pass the time of Lent in as island on the lake. Wherefore St. Francis begged his friend, for the love of God, to convey him in his boat to an island uninhabited by man: the which he should do during the night of Ash Wednesday, so that none might know where he was; and the friend, because of the great devotion he bore to St. Francis, agreed to his request, and conveyed him to the said island, St. Franics taking with him naught but two small loaves.

When they had reached the island, his friend left him and returned home; the saint earnestly entreating him to reveal to no one where he was, and not to come and fetch him before Holy Thursday; to which he consented. St. Francis being left alone, and there being no dwelling in the island in which he could take shelter, entered into a thick part of the wood all overgrown with brambles and other creeping plants, and forming as it were a kind of hut, there he began to pray and enter into the contemplation of divine things. And there he passed the whole of Lent without drinking or eating save half of one of the small loaves he had taken with him, as we learned from his friend who, going to fetch him on Holy Thursday, found one of the loaves untouched and the other only half consumed. It is believed that St. Francis ate this half out of reverence for our Blessed Lord, who fasted forty days and nights without taking any material food; for by eating this bit of bread he put aside the temptation to vainglory, and yet fasted forty days and forty nights in imitation of the Saviour.

In later times God worked many miracles, through the merits of the saint, on the spot where St. Francis had fasted so wonderfully, on which account people began to build houses and dwell there, and little by little a town rose up, with a convent called the Convent of the Isle; and to this day the inhabitants of that town hold in great respect and great devotion the spot in which St. Francis passed the time of Lent.

~ In one version of this lenten story, St. Francis is mentioned to have befriended a rabbit on the island, whom he fondly named Brother Quiverlips!


How St. Francis, Walking One Day With Brother Leo,

Explained to Him What Things Are Perfect Joy

(excerpt from the Little Flowers of St. Francis)

One day in winter, as St. Francis was going with going with Br. Leo from Perugia to St. Mary of the Angels, and was suffering greatly from the cold, he called to Brother Leo, who was walking on before him, and said to him: "Brother Leo, if it were to please God that the Friars Minor should give, in all lands, a great example of holiness and edification, write down, and note carefully, that this would NOT be perfect joy."

A little further on, St. Francis called to him a second time: "O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor were to make the lame to walk, if they should make straight the crooked, chase away demons, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and, what is even a far greater work, if they should raise the dead after four days, write that this would NOT be perfect joy."

Shortly after, he cried out again: "O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor knew all languages; if they were versed in all science; if they could explain all Scripture; if they had the gift of prophecy, and could reveal, not only all future things, but likewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would NOT be perfect joy."

After proceeding a few steps farther, he cried out again with a loud voice: "O Brother Leo, thou little lamb of God! if the Friars Minor could speak with the tongues of angels; if they could explain the course of the stars; if they knew the virtues of all plants; if all the treasures of the earth were revealed to them; if they were acquainted with the various qualities of all birds, of all fish, of all animals, of men, of trees, of stones, or roots, and of waters - write that this would NOT be perfect joy."

Shortly after, he cried out again: "O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor had the gift of preaching so as to convert all infidels to the faith of Christ, write that this would NOT be perfect joy."

Now when this manner of discourse had lasted for the space of two miles, Brother Leo wondered much within himself; and, questioning the saint, he said, "Father, I pray thee teach me wherein is PERFECT JOY."

St. Francis answered: "If, when we shall arrive at St. Mary of the Angels, all drenched with rain and trembling with cold, all covered with mud and exhausted from hunger; if, when we knock at the convent gate, the porter should come angrily and ask us who we are; if, after we have told him, 'We are two of the brethren', he should answer angrily, 'What ye say is not the truth; ye are but two imposters going about to deceive the world, and take away the alms of the poor; begone I say'; if then he refuses to open to us, and leaves us outside, exposed to the snow and rain, suffering from cold and hunger till nightfall - then, if we accept such injustice, such cruelty and such contempt with patience, without being ruffled and without murmuring, believing with humility and charity that the porter really knows us, and that it is God who maketh him to speak thus against us, write down, O Brother Leo, that this is PERFECT JOY.

And if we knowck again, and the porter comes out in anger to drive us away with oaths and blows, as if we were vile imposters, saying, 'Begone, miserable robbers! to the hospital, for here you shall neither eat nor sleep!' - and if we accept all this with patience, with joy, and with charity, O Brother Leo, write that this indeed is PERFECT JOY.

And if, urged by cold and hunger, we knock again, calling to the porter and entreating him with many tears to open to us and give us shelter, for the love of God, and if he come out more angry than before, exclaiming, 'These are but importunate rascals, I will deal with them as they deserve'; and taking a knotted stick, he seizes us by the hood, throwing us on the ground, rolling us in the snow, and shall beat and wound us with the knots in the stick - if we bear all these injuries with patience and joy, thinking of the sufferings of our Blessed Lord, which we would share out of love for him, write, O Brother Leo, that here, finally, IS PERFECT JOY.

And now, brother, listen to the conclusion. Above all the graces and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ grants to his friends, is the grace of overcoming oneself, and accepting willingly, out of love for Christ, all suffering, injury, discomfort and contempt; for in all other gifts of God we cannot glory, seeing they proceed not from ourselves but from God, according to the words of the Apostle, 'What hast thou that thou hast not received from God? and if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?' But in the cross of tribulation and affliction we may glory, because, as the Apostle says again,'I will not glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'   Amen."


St Ignatius of Laconi

(excerpt from Milwaukee Catholic Herald)

St. Ignatius was a happy, dedicated Franciscan, but never held any important position in the order.

For almost 40 years, he begged for alms and he was known for obeying his superiors, even if that meant he would have to deny his own opinions.

He always passed by the house of a sinner who lent money at unreasonably hight rates of interest.  St. Ignatius feared that by accepting alms from the man, he would share in the guilt of his greed.  But when the man complained and the superior commanded, St. Ignatius accepted the alms from the man.

When he returned to the friary, St. Ignatius opened the sack offered by the sinner and blood flowed out.  "This is the blood of the poor squeezed from them by greed!" St. Ignatius told his brothers.