Francis and the San Damiano Cross

This blog continues our Lent 2021 series of reflections on the Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition by a variety of women and men Franciscans.

It might be in the church or the chapel or the entrance area or the dining room. If you are at a Franciscan place, sooner or later you are very likely to encounter a San Damiano cross. In both a technical and a popular sense, this cross can be called a Franciscan icon. In the technical sense, it is a product of Eastern Christian theology and spirituality. In a popular sense, it is a symbol of the conversion of Francis and of his mission in the Church. 

“Repair my house”

Near the beginning of his conversion, Saint Francis used to pray in the small chapel of San Damiano, a short distance down the hill from Assisi. One day, according to the sources, Christ spoke to Francis

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Holy Thursday and the Franciscan Tradition

This blog continues our Lent 2021 series of reflections on the Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition by a variety of women and men Franciscans.

Holy Thursday begins the Paschal Triduum, also known as the Easter Triduum. During these special days we recall Christ’s suffering, dying, and rising—the events that reveal the full depths of God’s love for our broken humanity.

Following Jesus’ footprints

This is the Good News that Saint Francis above all wanted to share with others. He wrote in the Letter to the Faithful:

“As His Passion was near, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples and, taking bread, gave thanks, blessed and broke it, saying: Take and eat: This is My Body. And taking the cup He said: This is My Blood of the New Covenant which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Then He prayed to His

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A Lent Like No Other - Penance in a Pandemic

This blog begins our Lent 2021 series of reflections on the Franciscan Intellectual-Spiritual Tradition by a variety of women and men Franciscans.

We are in the season of Lent 2021, and many, perhaps most of us, feel very uneasy. We have been living through a pandemic for more than a year now; most of us know someone who has suffered from COVID-19, and perhaps we have family members and friends who have died from it. Many of our neighbors have lost their jobs; climate change has caused storms, floods, and wildfires around the world; many of our schools and gathering places are closed, and painfully, even our churches are impacted by modified rules about gathering for Mass or they may be closed all together. Public discourse can be unkind as both our national body politic and even our Roman Catholic Church have become sadly polarized. Given all of this, we

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