Meditate with Fr. Mario

Published on 03 October 2017

October 4, 2017 – St. Francis Feast Day

On this day we want to remember one of the best known and loved saints, Francis, by recounting an episode from his early years.

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Francis of Bernardone in 1202 joined the military expedition of Assisi against Perugia to defend his hometown and its people. His army was defeated, and he was thrown in a dungeon for 1 year. He eventually recovered from this experience both physically and psychologically, but he was a changed man.

It was in this crucial moment of his life that Francis encountered Jesus and decided to strip himself of an easy and carefree existence in order to embrace poverty and to live as a true son of the heavenly Father. He became St. Francis of Assisi.

Fr. Mario Conte, executive editor of the Messenger of Saint Anthony magazine, recounts this story while in the grounds of the Commonwealth World War II Cemetery in Padua, which contains the graves of over 500 young people who died in defence of democracy and freedom during one of the greatest catastrophe in history. Fr. Mario invites us to pray above all for peace, for those who are trying to defend and maintain it throughout the world, and for all those who have laid down their lives to protect peace and freedom.