St. Francis on priests

From The Testament of St. Francis:

“…the Lord gave me, and gives me still, such faith in priests who live according to the rite of the holy Roman Church because of their orders that, were they to persecute me, I would still want to have recourse to them…..And I act in this way because, in this world, I see nothing physically of the most high Son of God except His most holy Body and Blood which they receive and they alone administer to others. I want to have these most holy mysteries honored and venerated above all things and I want to reserve them in precious places.”

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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7 Responses to St. Francis on priests

  1. Rich says:

    St. Francis cared so much about the reverence due to the Eucharist, he wrote many letters to nobles complaining about sloppily prepared altars and dirty altar linens.

  2. digdigby says:

    St. Francis used to say, “If I saw an angel from heaven and a priest coming down the road, I would kiss the priest’s hand and only then greet the angel.”

  3. Anne C. says:

    Beautifully said! Thank you, Father, for sharing that.

    I could say that I also have that kind of faith, in “priests who live according to the rite of the holy Roman Church . . .” You, Father, are one of them.

    I sincerely wish that I could say that about more priests. Even though I know that their consecration as such means that the Mass that they say and the sacraments they confer on us are “valid,” it would help if the “most holy mysteries” seemed to be “honored and venerated above all things” more obviously and more often . . . (*sigh*)

  4. irishgirl says:

    St. Francis also showed respect one time to a priest who was leading an impure life. He knelt in the street and kissed his hand in reverence. The priest was converted and reformed his life.
    Happy St. Francis’ Day, Father Z!

  5. Joan M says:

    [Anne C. says:
    I sincerely wish that I could say that about more priests. Even though I know that their consecration as such means that the Mass that they say and the sacraments they confer on us are “valid,” it would help if the “most holy mysteries” seemed to be “honored and venerated above all things” more obviously and more often . . . (*sigh*)]

    Oh! Yes. I totally agree! Yesterday’s morning Mass was pure torture for me. It was a priest helping out in a time of need, and I normally can deal with the small eccentricities of visiting priests. Not this time. By the end of Mass I felt as if I had been on the rack!!

    When I learned that the same priest would be saying Mass again today I made sure to find somewhere else to attend. I am just back from that Mass, feeling so comforted. It was balm for my soul.

  6. It’s unfortunate that on this feast day, the greatest attention is given to St. Francis’ relationship with animals. While there is good to learn from these things, it is often at the expense of even better things.

    Here is a most important lesson from St. Francis, and I think there are some real nuggets in this piece. Emphasis in bold is mine (I know, there is a lot of bold).

    From Celano, Second Life (146)

    But, though Francis wanted his sons to be at peace with all men and to conduct themselves as little ones among all, he taught by his words and showed by his example that they were to be especially humble toward clerics. For he used to say: “We have been sent to help the clergy toward the salvation of souls so that what might be found insufficient in them might be supplied by us. Everyone will receive his reward, not according to the authority he exercises, but according to the labor he does. Know, brothers,” he said, “the fruit of souls is most pleasing to God, and it can be better obtained by peace with clerics than by disagreements with them. If they hinder the salvation of people, the revenge pertains to God and he will repay them in due time. Therefore, be subject to prelates, so that, in so far as you can help it, no jealousy will spring up. If you will be sons of peace, you will win the clergy and the people for the Lord, and the Lord judges this more acceptable than to win the people but to scandalize the clergy. Hide their lapses, supply for their many defects; and when you have done this, be even more humble.”

  7. catholicmidwest says:

    Diane,
    Thank you for supplying the entire context of the saying, which is important for understanding it.