Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Jesus Youth. He was born in 1181 at Assisi, a little town in Italy and is the founder of the Franciscan Order.
Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant and lived an extravagant life with his friends. One night he heard a voice asking him “Who do you think can best reward you, the Master or the servant?” and he answered “The Master.” The voice then asked, “Why do you leave the Master for the servant?” This encounter changed him altogether. Thereafter Francis avoided parties and his old lifestyle and began to care for the poor and sick.
St. Francis was a poor little man who inspired the Church by taking the Gospel literally - not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully. Out of humility, he never accepted the priesthood but remained a deacon all his life. He had a great love for animals. His ardent love of God merited him the name 'Seraphic.'
May the life of our patron saint continue to inspire us. Wish you a happy feast!