"CUM GRANDE HUMILITATE!"

"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."

A special "Thank you!"
Goes out to
John Michael Talbot
for giving us permission
to use his song on our
"Come to the Quiet"
You Tube Video
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Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas From The Portiuncula (next to the former Immaculate Conception Church) in Ozark, Ohio

 




My Great-Great Uncle, George Cosmos (Cose) Burkhard (Born 2 Sep 1869 and died 25 Apr 1962) along with his niece, Mary Burkhard (Born 27, April 1888 and died 14 Sep 1958) , standing in front of the Immaculate Conception Church sometime in the late 1950's. Cose and Mary were my Godparents.

The church was torn down in 1981.

We are rebuilding the church but this time we are building it just inside the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center's property to ensure it won't be destroyed again. Also, we will be duplicating the Portiuncula Chapel that is located on the campus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. 


Monroe County, Ohio Catholics are invited to pre-plan their funerals at their convenience. Here is ours:





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Begging For Stones



 

Monroe County, Ohio Catholics are being asked to collect all their field stones and drop them off at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road so that we can duplicate this Portiuncula Chapel located at the Franciscan University of Steubenville

Francis set to begging for stones with which to restore the church of San Damiano. He called to the passers-by: "Whoever gives me one stone will have one reward; two stones, two rewards; three stones, a treble reward!"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions
CHAPTER VII



Please note : We are begging our Catholic brothers and sisters in Monroe County, Ohio to round up all their field stones and dump them into the woods next to the Church of the Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Ozark-Eddy Bridge Road (in the direction of the large white house towards Woodsfield). These stones will be used to erect the Portiuncula Chapel.

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Scatter Wheat And Grain On Christmas Day




All mayors and lords of castles and towns are required each year on Christmas Day to order their subjects to scatter wheat and other grain on the roads outside the walls so that our sisters the larks and other birds might have something to eat on so festive a day.

Mirror of Perfection - 114


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Miracle Of The Hay

 



The hay that had been placed in the manger at Greccio was kept, so that the Lord might save beasts of burden and other animals through it. And in truth it happened that many animals throughout that region, beasts of burden and others with various illnesses, were freed from their ailments after eating of this hay. Indeed, some women who had been laboring for a long time in a difficult birth delivered their children easily when some of this hay was placed upon them; and a large number of persons of both sexes, suffering from various illnesses, obtained the health sought in the same way.



Today, the place on which the manger stood is consecrated to the Lord by a church, and over the manger there is an altar dedicated to St. Francis, so that where once the animals ate the hay, now people eat to health of soul and body the flesh of the Lamb without blemish and without spot, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in highest and ineffable love gave himself to us, and lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God eternally glorious, forever and ever. Amen, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Celano - First Life


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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Star Of Bethlehem

 



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A Thorn Between Two Roses


Left to Right:  Congressman David McIntosh (R-IN), Chris Dickson (Republican Candidate for the Indiana General Assembly)  Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich 


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Photos Taken While Sitting On Our Back Yard Swing At The Portiuncula Hermitage





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Ran Into An Old Friend Of Mine

 



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Evening Time At The Portiuncula Hermitage

 


Marshmallows anyone?


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Fr. Timothy Davison In Woodsfield, Ohio on August 21, of 2021

 


Photo of Fr. Timothy Davison taken in front of the Woodsfield, Ohio County Court House where Fr. Tim led the Catholic faithful in praying a Rosary before the Traveling Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the protection of our most precious Unborn.  


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Photo Taken of Dr. Alveda King Along With Fra Chris Dickson, on Pro Life Sunday

 



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Please enjoy this Eucharistic Music Video sent to me by Theresa Thomas back in 2006

 



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The beautiful monastery at Greccio where St. Francis created the first live Christmas nativity.

 


“The man of God (Francis) stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy.”  St. Bonaventure (contemporary of St. Francis and biographer)

His face was wet with his own tears as Francis of Assisi stood before the people of the little town of Greccio one Christmas Eve long ago. With great tenderness and humility, he told them the story of the first Christmas. Behind him was a cave with two of the village people dressed as Mary and Joseph, and a wax baby representing Jesus. An Ox and donkey stood beside them. Mary was bending over the baby lying on a bed of straw. Francis turned to behold the love of his life, the Babe of Bethlehem, and he fell down in weeping adoration.

“The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many with brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise.”

Greccio, a little town in Umbria, had experienced the extraordinary that Christmas eve in 1226. St. Francis of Assisi had assembled a live nativity scene in a cave on the outskirts of town to show the humble birth of Christ. The townspeople gathered around, full of wonder and expectation.


“the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis…. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor king; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem.”  Prior to this, mass on Christmas eve was spoken in Latin, which the people could not understand.


Francis encouraged the people to reject hatred and embrace love, with the help of God. Whether you remain a sceptic or not, the message of St. Francis resounds with hope for our individual worlds as well as the one we all share. As the hay was gathered up later and fed to the animals, a miracle occurred. The cattle were cured of their diseases. The people believed that God had honored his servant Francis.


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We Should See And Believe

 




Just as Jesus Christ appeared to the shepherds and the three wise men, so now he shows himself to us in consecrated bread; and as with their physical sight they saw only his flesh, but with the eyes of faith, they believed that he was God, so too, now, though we see bread and wine with the eyes of our body, we should see with the eyes of faith and firmly believe that it is his Most Holy Body and Blood, living and true.

Fra Chris

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Monday, December 20, 2021

The Smoke House At The Portiuncula Hermitage In Ozark, Ohio

 





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Fasting On Chritmas

 



When the question arose about eating meat that day, since Christmas day fell on a Friday, Brother Francis replied, saying to Brother Morico, "You sin, Brother, calling the day on which the Child was born to us a day of fast. It is my wish," he said, "that even the walls should eat meat on such a day, and if they cannot, they should be smeared with meat on the outside!"

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
Chapter CLI


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Silent Monks Singing Halleluia




 

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St. Francis of Assisi Built The Very First Nativity Scene in Greccio

 



What Francis did on the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ near the little town called Greccio in the third year before his glorious death should be especially noted and recalled with reverent memory. In that place there was a certain man named John, of good reputation and an even better life, whom blessed Francis loved with a special love, for in the place where he lived he held a noble and honorable position in as much as he had trampled upon the nobility of his birth and pursued nobility of soul. Blessed Francis sent for this man, as he often did, about fifteen days before the birth of the Lord, and he said to him: "If you want us to celebrate the present feast of our Lord at Greccio, go with haste and diligently prepare what I tell you. For I wish to do something that will recall to memory the little Child who was born in Bethlehem and set before our bodily eyes in some way the inconveniences of his infant needs, how he lay in a manger, how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he lay upon the hay where he had been placed." When the good and faithful man heard these things, he ran with haste and prepared in that place all the things the saint had told him.

The manger was prepared, the hay had been brought, the ox and the ass were led in. There simplicity was honored, poverty was exalted, humility was commended, and Greccio was made, as it were, a new Bethlehem.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, First Life
CHAPTER XXX


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Saturday, December 18, 2021

God Chose An Unborn Child To Announce The Coming Of His Son!

 



As soon as Mary received the announcement from the angel, she went in haste to her cousin Elizabeth, who was with child. And the unborn child, John the Baptist, rejoiced in Elizabeth's womb. How wonderful it was...Almighty God chose an unborn child to announce the coming of His Son!

This was the first Eucharist: the gift of God's Son establishing Mary as the first altar, the first tabernacle. Mary is the only one able to confirm in complete sincerity, "This is my body!"

Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A.



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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Are We Too Embarrassed To Pray Before Meals In A Restaurant?

 


When dining out at a restaurant, do we say Grace, making the Sign of the Cross before and after praying? Or are we more concerned about the people who may laugh at us? Perhaps if they see us Crossing ourselves in public they will be emboldened enough to do it themselves next time. 

Fra Chris



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"Stations of the Cross" Originated From The Franciscans

 



 FUS students praying at the outdoor Stations of the Cross on the 
campus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville


The emperor Constantine permitted Christians to legally worship in the Roman Empire in 313 after 250 years of persecution. In 335, he erected the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at the site where Jesus’ tomb was believed to have been. Processions of pilgrims to the church, especially during Holy Week, began soon after its completion.

Devotions to the Way of the Cross began in earnest after 1342, when the Franciscan friars were given custody of the holy sites in the Holy Land. The Franciscans have been closely identified with the devotion ever since; for years, Church regulations required a set of the stations to be blessed by a Franciscan when possible.



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Solitude...Silence...Stillness

 



Solitude, silence and stillness help us connect to God, but he doesn't intend for us to hoard them. Rather, we are to share them with the world. The genius of the Franciscan Movement is that it balances quiet meditation with preaching. Intimacy with God builds up a foundation through which we discover intimacy with our brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Fra Chris



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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

The Breviary Was Originated By The Franciscans

 



Franciscans are itinerant ministers called to travel throughout the world preaching repentance and penance. At first, in the early thirteenth century, this exempted them from praying the Office of the Hours in a church or monastery. Also, the complete Office of the Hours was very large and bulky, consisting of several volumes of books, making it impossible to carry them all around when walking from town to town. Therefore, they developed a briefer version of the Office of Hours called the Breviary. As the friars carpeted Europe they spread the use of the Breviary throughout the entire Church. ~ Fra Chris



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Advent

 



"When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming."

(CCC524)


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Monday, December 06, 2021

Have You Done Your Best?

 



"God will not ask how many books you have read; how many miracles you have worked; He will ask you if you have done your best, for the love of Him."   

~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta


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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Archbishop Vigano: The Prophet Isaiah's Warnings Apply to the Catholic Church Today! (ADVENT LETTER)

 



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American Life League: The Salvation Army Promotes Abortion

 


Salvation Army USA

615 Slaters Lane
P. O. Box 269
Alexandria, VA 22313
Phone: 800-728-7825
www.salvationarmyusa.org

The website for the International Office of the Salvation Army (http://www1.salvationarmy.org/IHQ/www_ihq_isjc.nsf/vw-sublinks/FE3C992C78838853802577DF0071D796?openDocument) states the following:

The Salvation Army believes all people are created in the image of God and therefore have unique and intrinsic value. Human life is sacred and all people should be treated with dignity and respect. The Salvation Army accepts the moment of fertilisation as the start of human life. We believe that society has a responsibility to care for others, and especially to protect and promote the welfare of vulnerable people, including unborn children.

The Salvation Army believes that life is a gift from God and we are answerable to God for the taking of life. As such, The Salvation Army is concerned about the growing ready acceptance of abortion, which reflects insufficient concern for vulnerable persons including the unborn. We do not believe that genetic abnormalities that are identified in an unborn child who is likely to live longer than a brief period after birth are sufficient to warrant a termination of pregnancy.

The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration, acknowledging the tremendous pressures that occur during an unexpected pregnancy. There is a responsibility on all involved to give the parents of the unborn child, particularly the woman, appropriate pastoral, medical and other counsel. The Salvation Army believes that termination can occur only when

  • Carrying the pregnancy further seriously threatens the life of the mother; or
  • Reliable diagnostic procedures have identified a foetal abnormality considered incompatible with survival for more than a very brief post natal period.

In addition, rape and incest are brutal acts of dominance violating women physically and emotionally. This situation represents a special case for the consideration of termination as the violation may be compounded by the continuation of the pregnancy.

NOTE FROM ALL: A reading of the Salvation Army’s position makes it clear that it does support abortion – in the cases of “life of the mother” and “fetal deformity” – as well as some cases of rape and incest.  The Salvation Army also supports abortifacient birth control.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Come To The Quiet Retreats At The Portiuncula Hermitage


 


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In The Summer When The Roses Bloom

 



One day when St. Clare and St. Francis were walking from Spello to Assisi, they had great unrest in their hearts. For on their way they had entered a house, where they had asked for and been given a little bread and water. While they were there, they had drawn looks of malice from the people, and were forced to endure all sorts of whispering, with jokes and veiled insinuations. So they went on their way in silence. It was the cold season of the year, and the land all around was covered with snow. Soon the horizon began to grow dark. Then Francis said: "Did you understand what the people were saying about us?"

Clare gave no answer. Her heart contracted as if pressed by pincers, and she felt close to tears. "It's time to part," Francis said finally. Then Clare fell to her knees in the middle of the road. After a while she got hold of herself, stood up, and went on with her head lowered, leaving Francis behind.

The road led through a forest. All at once she lost the strength to leave him like this, without hope or comfort, without a word of farewell.

She waited.

"When will we see each other again?"

"In the summer when the roses bloom."

Then something wonderful happened. All of a sudden it seemed to both of them as if there were countless roses all around - on the branches of juniper bushes and on the frost-covered hedges. Recovering from her astonishment Clare rushed up, plucked a bunch of roses, and laid them in Francis's hands. From that day on St. Clare and St. Francis were never separated again.

- An Old Franciscan Legend



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Francis And Clare At The River

 


One day it happened that Francis and Clare were walking on opposite sides of a river in flood. When Francis saw Clare, he tried to cross the river to her, but the powerful, swirling current prevented him. He was troubled because dangerous water kept him from joining his sister after his own spirit. Then suddenly Clare threw her mantle on the water and, stepping on it, walked across the river in an instant. Blessed Francis, in awe and devotion, then said, "See, Lady Clare, you are more in favor with God than I am."

- A folk story of the country people of Rocca Sant' Angelo transcribed by Arnaldo Fortini in Nova Vita di San Francesco


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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Ralph Martin: "Something Supernatural Is Happening"

 


Ralph Martin was a guest on my radio talk show back in 2006. Right after his appearance, he sent me his new book, "The Fulfillment Of All Desire." I would recommend this book for everyone to read. It is utterly fantastic. ~ Fra Chris

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Advent: A Time To Become Holy

 


A Time to Become Holy
by Christopher L. Dickson, F.L.A.


"To grow in holiness, we must first return to regularly receiving the Sacraments and the first step to returning to the Sacraments is an examination of conscience; the Sacrament of Reconciliation."


"Be Holy for I Am Holy."

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Advent is a time for us to seek holiness. Holiness is not something that is meant to be had by the few. It is meant for you and me! It is meant for all of us! In 1 Peter, God tells us to “Be holy for I am holy.” Would God instruct us to be something that is impossible for us to accomplish?
Certainly not! We see in Psalm 51 how we are to become holy through a broken and contrite heart. So how do we obtain a broken and contrite heart? St. Francis of Assisi showed great insight here by telling his followers that he preferred absolutely nothing to preaching repentance and penance, which was considered folly at that time because the fear and love of the Lord had died out in the world. The same can be said of our modern, Post-Christian world as well.

So how do we grow in holiness? We grow in holiness by accepting the Father's love and seeking His forgiveness. The closer we grow with the Father, the more we become like Jesus, and like Jesus, our hearts must first truly burn with a desire to grow in holiness. This is impossible without first surrendering our lives to God just as Jesus surrendered his to the Father.

We are in the middle of a crisis of faith...

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Advent is a time to reflect on our status as prodigal sons and daughters of the Most High. Just as the prodigal son, we too must eventually come to our senses. Today's modernist society too often justifies sin or else denies it completely. Rampant drug and alcohol abuse, disrespect for adults and for one another, malicious gossip, cheating on our income taxes, refusing to forgive others, sexual depravity and Abortion have become society's new norm. We are in the middle of a crisis of faith in Jesus Christ. It's very easy to allow ourselves to become discouraged by all the negativity, but we must realize that the people are hungry. The people are hungry for the truth. They desire more out of life than simply wandering aimlessly about, day in and day out, in total hopelessness. They want to find joy. But there can be no joy separate from holiness!

We should frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation...

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To grow in holiness, we must first return to regularly receiving the Sacraments and the first step to returning to the Sacraments is an examination of conscience; the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Just as the prodigal son returned to his father and begged forgiveness for his sins, we must also return to the Father and beg his forgiveness for sinning against Him. St. Francis of Assisi tells us that we should frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month. Why is that so important? Well, it helps us see our sins and seek God's mercy by experiencing His tender love for us. We can never hope to grow in holiness without the Sacrament of Reconciliation for if we are truly going to get serious about coming to our senses and receiving the Father’s love, then we will first go to Him with broken and contrite hearts and confess our sins to Him, not just during Advent, but at least once a month. Why is that? Because it helps us to see our sins, to seek God’s mercy, and to experience his tender love for us.

Don't expect holiness to happen overnight...

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The second step in growing in holiness is by returning to the Eucharist. We must never separate the Eucharist from our daily lives or our daily lives from the Eucharist. Jesus satisfies our hunger for him by giving us his Body and Blood, just as we must satisfy His hunger for the souls of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed by becoming Eucharistic for the people.

Don't expect holiness to happen overnight. Most of us become overwhelmed and discouraged if we don't see ourselves become holy right away. Remember, the saints were first sinners, some of them great sinners. It took many years for the saints to become holy as they were prone to the same trials and failures that we experience in today's world. The important thing is that we persevere, realizing that the Father loves us unconditionally.

Christopher L. Dickson, F.L.A.












 

Chris Dickson is the Servant General of the F.L.A., (Franciscan Lay Apostolate.) Located at the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center in Jerusalem, Ohio, the F.L.A. follows the Medieval Penitential First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, dated 1221 A.D., placing themselves under Holy Obedience to the Bishop of Steubenville and Fr. Timothy Davison, of Monroe County, Ohio.

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The Yoke Movement Mission Statement

http://theyoke.org/-our-mission-statement.html

Friday, November 26, 2021

The Demons Take Flight

 

Fr. Timothy Davison


In their pride the demons take flight at the sight of the sublime virtue practiced by those who are truly humble.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Bonaventure, Major Life
CHAPTER VI


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Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Thief Plunders The Riches Of Heaven

 



A thief climbs a ladder to break into the vault where treasures are stored. The soul, too, ascends the secret contemplation to plunder the riches of heaven.

Dark Night of the Soul
St. John of the Cross
Chapter 18


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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

How To Act During A Rapture


 


"When the mind is ready to be introduced into that most glorious light of God's goodness, it should not add anything by presumption or take away anything by negligence, and it should love solitude as much as possible if it wishes that grace be preserved and increase.

Brother Giles
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Part Three - 9


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Sunday, November 21, 2021

No Friar May Preach Contrary To Church Law


 (The Portiuncula's personal hero, Raymond Cardinal Burke)

No friar may preach contrary to Church law or without the permission of his minister. The minister, for his part, must be careful not to grant permission indiscriminately. All the friars, however, should preach by their example.


Saint Francis of Assisi
Rule of 1221
Chapter 17. Preachers

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Comparing A Dead Body To Perfect Obedience

 

Our tombstone at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Ozark, Ohio

Francis described true and perfect obedience under the simile of a dead body. 'Take up a dead body,' he said, 'and lay it where you will. You will see that it does not resist being removed, or complain of its position, or ask to be left alone. If it is lifted onto a chair, it does not look up, but down. If it is clothed in purple, it looks paler than ever. In the same way, one who is truly obedient does not question why he is moved, does not mind where he is placed, and does not demand to be transferred. If he is promoted to high office, he remains as humble as before, and the more he is honored, the more unworthy he considers himself.'

Saint Francis of Assisi
Mirror of perfection - 48


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The Bridegrooms Touch



St. Francis always sought a hidden place where he could adapt not only his soul but also his members to God. When he suddenly felt himself visited by the Lord in public, lest he be without a cell he made a cell of his mantle. At times, when he did not have a mantle, he would cover his face with his sleeve so that he would not disclose the hidden manna. Always, he put something between himself and the bystander, lest they should become aware of the bridegroom's touch.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Celano, Second Life
CHAPTER LXI


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