National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi

This beautiful building is across from an amazing coffee shop

I went on a little adventure today! I started the day off with coffee and a pastry from Caffe Trieste. Across the street, I saw a beautiful cathedral and decided to go in since I haven’t been in a church since Christmas. It was actually the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, after which the city is named.

There were beautiful Advent & Christmas decorations still up for my enjoyment! I also loved observing a clergyman check the mail and enjoy some coffee talk of his own.

Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon, mystic, and preacher. Born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, Saint Francis is the patron saint of animals and environment.

I also remember a deck original from a 2019 Advent prayer book that featured a drawing of Saint Francis naked in the square.

The way St. Francis of Assisi broke with his previous life was quite dramatic. He stripped off all his clothes and returned them to his father, who was a wealthy merchant. It was a clear statement and public rejection of the privileges and responsibilities that came with his birthright. This scene unfolded before the bishop of Assisi, and he immediately covered Francis with his mantle to signal that Francis was now under his protection and authority.

From this point on, Francis sought absolute poverty. He didn’t even want to own the clothes on his back. By being entirely poor, he became completely dependent on the kindness of others.

As a baby, Christ was naked and needy; and as the crucified Lord, He was naked when He died on the cross.

Although most of us won’t live this extremely, it presents food for thought. What can we give up to follow the Lord more closely?

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Matthew‬ ‭19:21

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