Today the church remembers Francis of Assisi, Friar, 1126.One of the boldest and most spirited figures in history, it is a shame that Francis is sometimes dismissed as simply a quiet bird-watcher. Actually he was an outspoken and controversial social activist. He was one of the greatest preachers of all time. His concern with poverty and ecology give him a strikingly modern quality. Although he was a wealthy cloth merchant's son, he gave all he had to help the poor and was contented with only the barest necessities for himself. He vigorously opposed the abuse of political power, particularly when it was wielded by the Bishop of Rome. Francis was effective in initiating sweeping social and economic reforms. He was a popular singer, often called "God's Troubadour." His most famous hymn, "Canticle to Brother Sun" (#406 in The Hymnal 1982), has stood the test of time. Francis founded one of the strongest and most dynamic religious orders in Christendom. Today we find Franciscan Friars in both the Roman and Anglican communions. Most high, almighty, and good Lord: Grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world, that, after the example of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in all your creatures, with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.