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Words of Wisdom

Life of Humility: From Writings by Saint Francis of Assisi (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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The venerated Saint Francis of Assisi, born in late 1181 or early 1182, was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon, preacher, and the founder of the Franciscan Orders.

His compassionate wisdom lives on to this very day. In 2014, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of Saint Francis’ notable influence. “You know, just to be reminded that St. Francis of Assisi, he was vegetarian, well known, and he loved animal-people. Everybody knows that. The whole world knows that. And the Italian people, they love him. Maybe that’s why it’s ingrained in their culture to be kind to animal-people. And also, if people are kind to animal-people, they normally are kind also to humans. That’s what is said: If you love animal-people, you would love humans, too. And I’m happy, I’m happy for the Italian people. Thank you, St. Francis of Assisi.”

Today, we will present excerpts of the ‘Rules for the Friars Minor’ from the book, “The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi,” where the blessed Saint lays down the directives for his faithful friars to follow.

“Let all the brothers strive to follow the humility and poverty of our Lord Jesus Christ, and let them remember that we ought to have nothing else in the whole world, except as the Apostle says: ‘Having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.’”

“And when it may be necessary, let them go for alms. And let them not be ashamed thereof, but rather remember that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living and Omnipotent God, was not ashamed, and was poor, and a stranger, and lived on alms, He Himself and the Blessed Saint Mary mother of Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples.”

“And let all the brothers take care not to calumniate anyone, nor to contend in words; let them indeed study to maintain silence as far as God gives them grace. Let them also not dispute among themselves or with others, but let them be ready to answer with humility, saying: ‘we are unprofitable servants.’ And let them not be angry, for ‘whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, that they are worthless, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.’”
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