Act of Consecration to St. Francis of Assisi

Dear Franciscan Tertiaries,

 

Here is a prayer that you can say daily to consecrate yourselves to the Seraphic Father.

 

Seraphic Patriarch St. Francis. So like unto Jesus, even from thy birth, in thy being born in a stable, and like him, laid in a manger. So like unto Jesus during thy lifetime, in thy burning zeal for souls. So like unto Jesus at thy death, having thy hands and thy feet pierced with nails and thy side opened as with a lance.

 

O favourite of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! So inflamed with His sweet and gentle, yet burning spirit of Divine Love. I, N., consecrate myself to thee, praying thee to obtain from God for me – even as thou wert wont to pray – the most sweet and ardent gift of His Divine Love, that my heart’s affections and my whole soul may be detached from every creature and thus be united to Him in time and eternity. Amen. My God and my All.


Spiritual Bouquet for Fr Joseph Pfeiffer

A request for a spiritual bouquet for Fr Pfeiffer has been forwarded to us from England:
  

Would anyone like to join me in making a small spiritual bouquet for Fr. Pfeiffer?
 
I suggest any of the following prayers or others of your choice. Please let me know what you have said by the end of 31 January so that it can be presented to Fr. Pfeiffer on the Feast of the Purification.
 
Please could you also email this to anyone else you know who might want to contribute? Would somebody in Australia and in USA or any other country please spread the news as I have very few email addresses for anyone outside of England.
 
Sequence of the Mass of Pentecost;
Five-decade Rosaries;
Fifteen-decade Rosaries;
Litanies to St Joseph;
Litanies to Our Blessed Lady;
30-day Prayer;
30-day Novena to St Joseph;
Any choice of prayer said by children;
Any other choice of prayer said by you.
 
I hope this might fortify him for 2015.
 
God bless
 
Libby Bevan
  
Please send your prayer pledges to libbybevan@outlook.com

 


The First Nativity Scene

The world is indebted to St Francis for giving us the beautiful custom of the Nativity Scene. 

 

The following extract is taken from: http://www.fisheaters.com/adventcribs.html While it is not a traditional site, the entire document gives an informative account of how and why St Francis set up the first Nativity Scene:

 

St. Bonaventure, who wrote another biography of St. Francis, described the institution of the crib like this:

 

Now three years before his death it befell that he was minded, at the town of Greccio, to celebrate the memory of the Nativity of the Child Jesus, with all the added solemnity that he might, for the kindling of devotion. That this might not seem an innovation, he sought and obtained license from the Supreme Pontiff, and then made ready a manger, and bade that hay, together with an ox and ass, be brought unto the spot. The friars were called together, the folk assembled, the wood echoed with their voices, and that august night was made radiant and solemn with many bright lights, and with tuneful and sonorous praises. The man of God, filled with tender love, stood before the manger, bathed in tears, and overflowing with joy. 

 

Solemn Masses were celebrated over the manger, Francis, the levite of Christ, chanting the Holy Gospel. Then he preached unto the folk standing around at the Birth of the King of poverty, calling Him, when he wished to name Him, the Child of Bethlehem, by reason of his tender love for Him. A certain knight, valorous and true, Messer Giovanni di Greccio, who for the love of Christ had left the secular army and was bound by closest friendship unto the man of God, declared that he beheld a little Child right fair to see, sleeping in that manger, who seemed to be awakened from sleep when the blessed Father Francis embraced Him in both arms. This vision of the devout knight is rendered worthy of belief, not alone through the holiness of him that beheld it, but is also confirmed by the truth that it set forth, and withal proven by the miracles that followed it. For the example of Francis, if meditated upon by the world, must needs stir up sluggish hearts unto the faith of Christ; for even the hay that was taken from the manger by the folk proved a marvellous remedy for sick beasts, and a preventative against divers other plagues, God magnifying by all means His servant, and making manifest by clear and miraculous portents the efficacy of his holy prayers.

 

The history of the Nativity Scene should be of interest to all. I would especially like to encourage parents and grandparents to foster this beautiful tradition. Not only is the Nativity story attractive to children, its historical relevance should interest both the young and the old. 

 

So, in the spirit of St Francis, let us honour the beautiful tradition of the Nativity and transmit its history to future generations.

 

And be creative! For example, make your own Nativity scene using cardboard/construction paper. Have the children colour and cut out the figures. Have the older children do research on the various heroes of the Nativity. Have them present their findings. Have them act out scenes.

 

Remember that Christmas season extends until Candlemas (Feb 2) and so you and your children will have plenty of time for creative Nativity work!

 

Pax et Bonum

 

Sister Constance TOSF