What was it like, Francis? To experience the wounds of Christ?
How did you do it? You were another noble-aspiring Merchant’s son, fighting for Assisi in another of the Italian city-states endless wars. Was it the illness you endured during your captivity? Did that brush with death open your eyes to the Truth?
How did you have the courage to do it? Cast aside your priviledge, your protection, your future? And did you really strip the clothes off your back in the city square?
Whatever you did, you followed a small, still voice that guided you to make poverty your Lady, to attract in joy others to beg for their daily bread and rebuild the Church. Whether it was the old ruins of one outside Assisi, or the entire Roman Catholic institution.
For in a time of incessant corruption, your simple purity turned Ecclesia upside-down. Even a pope could not deny you. Your charism recognized, your order of Friars legitimized, you continued your revolution of simplicity.
Then, in the winter of your life, you had your ultimate encounter: One last apparition of your savior. And the marks of his crucified life you bore afterward, for the rest of your own.
Now, every fourth of October, the Catholic Church celebrates your sainthood. As foliage begins, people bring animals to mass on your feast day for your intercessory blessing. Fiery red and sungold yellow maple leaves adorn your statues in gardens everywhere. And even as days shorten, the painting of your legendary homily to the birds comforts souls everywhere.
But it is the stigmata that still captivates. That Miracle of miracles, given to you, whom many consider the saint closest to Christ.
What was it like, Francis?
another hollow shadow
across the expanse
the difficulty of loving
with nail-scarred hands
Poets United’s Pantry of Poetry and Prose: October Is Here… (posted by Magaly Guerrero)
dVerse Poets’ Poetics: On Profiles & Portraits (pubtended by Anmol (HA))
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