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Stella Matutina » 2006 » September » 12, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

September 12, 2006

This poem…

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 10:38 am

At the time of St. Francis Our Lady was revered by the Faithful in the Church, but much of what brings our attention to her today was not present. There was no long history of Marian appearances in the world; no prophesies that came or would come true; no Marian groups per se in the Churches. Love of her was the love of simple, faithful devotion. The rosary and scapular had not yet been given mankind by our merciful God. The kind of love we as lay people can and should naturally have for Our Lady, our Mother, our greatest spiritual treasure and friend, the one and only Mother of God, that is the kind of love St. Francis had for her. And, there can be no doubt that St. Francis loved Our Lady. Ancient texts on St. Francis indicate his great love for her. It is established that he commended his Orders to her care and motherly intentions. The little house in which he and his first brothers always gathered and called “home?? (or would have if they had one for they lived like the Lord) was St. Mary’s of the Angels, also know as the Porziuncula, or Little Portion.
In one incident regarding St. Mary’s of the Angels, in chapter VII of the Major life of St. Francis written by St. Bonaventure, it is recorded that “...the community of St. Mary of Protiuncula was so much in need that they had nothing to offer the friars who came there visiting. Francis’ vicar approached him and told him how badly off they were and asked him to allow them to keep some of the property which those entering the Order brought with them; then the friars could fall back on this when the need arose. Francis, who was not without his own share of divine guidance, replied, ‘My dear brother, God forbid that we should sin against the Rule for anyone. I should prefer to see you strip Our Lady’s altar bare rather than have you commit the slightest sin against our vow of poverty or the observance of the Gospel. The Blessed Virgin will be better pleased to see her altar laid bare and the Gospel counsel observed perfectly, rather than to have the altar properly decorated and her Son’s counsel violated, which we have promised to observe.??
Even here, in admonishing a brother on a vow to the Lord, St. Francis referenced the answer through his love of Mary, and of the virtue most loved by the Lord and His mother, poverty.
St. Bonaventure further recorded in Chapter IX of the same work, that “He (St. Francis) embraced the Mother of our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars. In her honor he fasted every year from the feast of Saints Peter and Paul until the Assumption…??. So we should each, and all, take her as our advocate and dedicate our lives to the Lord through her. It can be no other way if we are to follow St. Francis.
And as lay people there are so many lessons for us in Mary. She is the “Star of the Sea?? of life. She is the “Gate of Heaven??. The poem, Mary, is a meditation. A reflection on her.