Thoughts on Lent 9: What’s In a Name? Pope Francis Explains

One year ago an Argentinian named Jorge Mario Bergoglio assumed the name of Francis -- or, in Italian, Francesco. For Italians, the name needs no explanation. For Americans, not so much. In the video below the Pope gives voice to his thoughts about why he took the name of Italy's most beloved saint.Post by Catholic News Service.Purchase Wendy Murray's book on Francis of Assisi -----------> See also: The Year of the Pope in Pictures … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolution: Change the World

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By Wendy MurrayWhen I wrote my book about Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) a few years back, I couldn't get over what a simple humble man he was and how -- as such -- he managed to change his world. His life carries an echo that reverberates to this day as noted in the wild popularity of the new pope who bears his name.I have identified five attributes Francis possessed that will serve everyone, in any time, who desire to carry an impact on their world.1. Show UpWhen Francis … [Read more...]

Remembering St. Francis of Assisi

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Saint Francis of Assisi died 787 years ago today, and yet he seems more alive than ever despite the passage of time. In the Catholic tradition, this anniversary marks the "Feast Day of St. Francis." Remembering the champions who have gone before seems an appropriate tradition and one which Protestants lose out on. Francis of Assisi is certainly one whom Christians of all traditions ought to know and celebrate.I lived in Assisi when I wrote my book about St. Francis and came to love the … [Read more...]

What You Do, Do — With a Swift Pace and Nimble Step

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Clare of Assisi died 760 years ago tomorrow (August 11, 1253). Yet she remains as much a beacon for women and men of faith today as she did in her own day. For centuries the story of Clare  has been interpreted through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the one-time playboy who was destined to become Catholicism’s most popular saint.Yet her indomitable faith complements that of her guide and truest love, St. Francis, whom I wrote about in my book A Mended and Broken Heart: The L … [Read more...]

The Hidden Life of Clare of Assisi

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The hidden life of Clare of Assisi (119-[something] to 1253) is forever bound to that of Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), though Clare was a force unto herself who cast her own light and left a unique echo. I have already written a book about Francis (A Mended and Broken Heart, 2008, Basic Books) and have now turned my thoughts to Clare--the medieval feminine expression of Francis' spiritual vision. She has a lot she can teach today's women because she was -- as Hillary Clinton recently … [Read more...]

The Blessed Earth: A Symphony

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Today is "Earth Day," a celebration spawned in 1970 by astute civic protestors and politicians who felt citizens of the world ought to be doing more to honor and protect the environment.It is a grand proposal and one which, 745 years earlier --1225 -- was highlighted by one who has become "the patron saint of nature" ~ my personal hero, Saint Francis of Assisi. In the  spring of 1225,  the last full year of his life,  Francis of Assisi was very ill and in great suffering (from which, ult … [Read more...]

True North

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I have come to believe that the greatest battle of our age is not, as one would suppose, the "war on terror," meaning terrorists. I believe it is an invisible war with its own element of terror, which every human heart either longs for or repels decisively.Pascal, whom I have been reading (the Pensées), describes the character of one has who set himself up as his own god: "He [or she] wants to be the object of love and esteem . . . He devotes all his attention to hiding his faults both from … [Read more...]


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