St. Francis of Assisi, the little brother of creation,
has been referred to as “Totally Catholic and Apostolic.” Though
he was grounded in the Roman tradition of his time he was and is totally
catholic in the sense of being of a universal nature. In a word, his
life and message breaks all boundaries. Many within and without the Christian
tradition claim his charism as their own in one fashion or another.
It was his basic desire to conform to the person of Jesus in spirit,
soul and body. He desired and dared to live the marrow of the Gospel.
In this attempt many men and women were drawn to his vision of living
in the world as little brothers and sisters… “the minores” as
he closely identified with the minorities of his day.
One of his followers, St. Bonaventure, wrote of this lifestyle:
+ If you desire to live the life of a pastor,
ministering to a faith community come be a brother/sister
+ If it is your call to live in community and in
prayer like the monastics come join the community of brothers and sister
+ And if it is your desire to live as the hermits
in solitude and prayer, come join the community of brother
and sisters minors.
People from all of these walks of life; married couples, singles, pastors,
monks, and hermits… all came and found a home in the vision of
the Gospel he embodied.