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

2022-06-22
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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, (Yes, Master.) 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, it is a pleasure to 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.

“The rule and life of these brothers is this: namely, to live in obedience and chastity, and without property, and to follow the doctrine and footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ, who says: ‘If thou will be perfect, go sell what thou has, and give to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in Heaven, and come, follow Me.’ And ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.’”

“And let the ministers and servants remember that the Lord says: I have not ‘come to be ministered unto, but to minister,’ and that to them is committed the care of the souls of their brothers, of whom if any should be lost through their fault and bad example, they will have to give an account before the Lord Jesus Christ in the day of judgment.”

“Nevertheless, let all the brothers who are subject to the ministers and servants consider reasonably and carefully the deeds of the ministers and servants. And if they should see any one of them walking according to the flesh and not according to the spirit, according to the right way of our life, after the third admonition, if he will not amend, let him be reported to the minister and servant of the whole fraternity in the Whitsun Chapter, in spite of any obstacle that may stand in the way.”
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