Posted April 19, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

Order of Friars Minor

~何庭耀神父 Fr. Anthony Ho

聖方濟生於公元1182年,二十二歲在聖達彌盎堂祈禱時,聽到聲音說:「方濟各,去,重建我的居所。」於是,方濟著手修葺所有殘破的聖堂。

有一位商人和主教座堂議員加入方濟的隱士生活,這就是後來方濟會的雛形,他們勞動及以募捐維生,清貧渡日,自稱「小兄弟」。

聖方濟接受執事聖職,使他可以宣講福音;但由於敬畏聖體,謙遜之心令他認為自己不堪當領受鐸品聖職。

聖方濟專程到達羅馬,請求教宗英諾桑三世批准方濟會的成立。由於當時方濟會內的嚴竣克己,被外界質疑似是異端組織,因此,聖方濟此舉成功渺茫。誰知教宗夢得方濟肩負聖若望拉特朗大殿,所以特意批准方濟會的成立。

公元1224年九月,方濟領受了耶穌五傷。聖人喜愛大自然,常藉大自然讚美天主,此情在他的「朝陽頌讚」的讚美詩中,表露無遺。

聖方濟於公元1226年逝世,兩年後被教廷宣聖。

聖女嘉蘭是聖方濟忠實的追隨者。年僅十八,乘夜離家出走,在聖方濟及其同伴見證下,委身事主。不久,她的妹妹依搦斯加入,甚至她母親和一些貴族婦女爭相追隨,組織成為嘉蘭女隱修會,她們長期齋戒靜修,嚴守神貧。聖嘉蘭死於1253年。

聖安多尼在1220年成為方濟會會士;在他生命最後十年,在意大利和法國宣講真理。他是一位極受歡迎的講道者,並具有顯奇蹟的特恩。

St. Francis of Assisi was born in 1182. At the age of twenty-two, while praying at St. Damian’s church, Francis heard a voice saying, “Francis, go and rebuild My House”. He started to repair neglected churches.

Francis lived as a hermit. Later a merchant and a canon of the cathedral joined him, and thus began the Franciscan order. They lived by manual labor and by begging alms. They called themselves “Friars Minor” or little brothers.

Francis was ordained a deacon so that he could preach the Gospel, but out of awe for the Holy Eucharist, he did not receive priestly order.

Francis travelled to Rome to get the approval of Innocent III for his Rule. There was difficulty, for his group bore some resemblance to some heretical groups. But Innocent had a dream that Francis carried on his shoulders the great Basilica of St. John Lateran. Innocent III, therefore, approved the work of Francis.
On September, 1224 Francis received the stigmata. Francis had a great love for nature, and his enthusiasm for praising God through creation is expressed in the Canticle of Brother Sun.

Francis died in 1226 and was canonized two years later.

A faithful disciple of St. Francis was St. Clare. At the age of eighteen, she escaped by night and consecrated herself to God in the presence of St. Francis and his companions. She was soon joined by her younger sister, Agnes. Eventually her own mother and other noble ladies also put themselves under her rule. The Poor Clare nuns observed perpetual abstinence, constant silence, and perfect poverty. St. Clare died in 1253.

St. Anthony of Padua (+1231) became a Franciscan in 1220. He spent his last ten years preaching in Italy and France. He was a wonderful preacher with the gift of miracles.

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