The Windows of Our Church – Center Panel Story
The very animals found in Francis a tender friend and protector; thus we find him pleading with the people of Gubbio to feed the fierce wolf that had ravished their flocks, because through hunger “Brother Wolf” had done this wrong.
And the early legends have left us many an idyllic picture of how beasts and birds alike susceptible to the charm of Francis’s gentle ways, entered into loving companionship with him; how the hunted leveret sought to attract his notice; how the half-frozen bees crawled towards him in the winter to be fed; how the wild falcon fluttered around him; how the nightingale sang with him in sweetest content in the ilex grove at the Carceri, and how his “little brethren the birds” listened so devoutly to his sermon by the roadside near Bevagna that Francis chided himself for not having thought of preaching to them before.
Francis’s love of nature also stands out in bold relief in the world he moved in. He delighted to commune with the wild flowers, the crystal spring, and the friendly fire, and to greet the sun as it rose upon the fair Umbrian vale.
In this respect, indeed, St. Francis’s “gift of sympathy” seems to have been wider even than St. Paul’s, for we find no evidence in the great Apostle of a love for nature or for animals (Catholic Encyclopedia).
We are so happy that so many of you are enjoying this beautiful series of reflections by Deacon Jim Byrne. If you would like your own copy of the complete series, please contact the Rectory office and we will be happy to print one for you.
St Vincent de Paul is a Catholic lay organization that leads people to join together and grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering.
Recent medical studies revealed that people who attend church at least weekly have longer life expectancies and fewer complications from illnesses or surgeries than non-church goers.