Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi


O seraphic Francis! who art now in possession of that seat among the Seraphim, which from all eternity was prepared for thee, vouchsafe we beseech thee to join us, while we thank thy Divine Benefactor for having chosen thee to be the companion of His cross. and the peculiar object of His love. We most confidently present to thee all our present petitions, convinced that thy influence in heaven must be great since thy likeness to Jesus Christ secured the success of thy prayers even on earth. Thou didst early burst every human tie and disdain any father but God. Penetrated with the great truths of faith, thou didst trample on all that the world calls delightful and valuable, and didst embrace such destitute poverty, and austere penance as soon likened thee to that Man of Sorrows, who had not whereon to lay His Sacred Head. The cross of Jesus became Thy delight, thy only treasure; and intimate union with its adorable Victim was the only joy thy pure soul could value. 

At length, the sword of mortification opened for thee a passage to the Heart of Jesus, the most profound humility introduced thee into the inmost recesses of that sacred sanctuary, the gift of sublime prayer disclosed to thee such transporting beauties in Jesus, that every human object disappeared from thine eyes. Jesus became truly "thy God and thy All." The ardour of thy love rendered thy whole being a burning holocaust; and thy body itself, purified and subdued, was honoured with the most precious of all favours, the sacred marks of thy Redeemer’s wounds. From that happy moment, the remainder of thy banishment was a martyrdom of love, until love itself put an end to thy mortal life. O seraph of the earth! have compassion on our tepidity. Heavenly contemplative enlighten our darkness, remember that the blindness of sinners often drew tears from thy eyes. Thou didst unceasingly lament that Jesus should have endured such torments, and yet that no one thought of His sufferings. Thou canst now satisfy thy ardent desire of seeing Jesus loved by obtaining for us the most generous and perfect love of God, the most profound and practical humility, a sincere love of poverty, lively zeal for our own perfection, and that of others, the spirit of prayer founded on, and nourished by universal mortification, and the particular intentions of this novena.

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