|St. Francis (1182-1226) was the founder of the Franciscan Order. He was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, and, as a young man, served in the military. At the age of 26, Francis was disinherited when he decided to follow the Gospel and live in poverty. Noted for his devotion to the Christ Child, Francis, a deacon, started the tradition of the Christmas Nativity Scene by re-enacting the Holy Family's journey to Bethlehem. The Franciscan Order is devoted to poverty, work, and service; it was approved by Pope Innocent in 1216.|
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.