The great St. Francis of Assisi, (1182-1226), divided the world into different parts so that his Franciscan monks would be able to work in certain areas. He reserved for himself the city of Paris, because he said, "In that country the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is more honoured, than in any other place in the world".
The heart and soul
of St. Francis was on fire with love for the most Blessed Sacrament.
He preached, “My people, it is your duty to give all you can, to buy
beautiful chalices and beautiful vessels for the altar" From
then on, people have made an effort to have chalices and other altar vessels,
made of gold and silver, wherever it was possible.
But greater than
his love for the precious vessels, was his concern about the living tabernacles
of men. He encouraged his Third Order Franciscans to receive Holy Communion
often, and not just once a year. Although St. Francis was not a priest,
he heard Mass every day and if he was sick he assisted at the Mass in
a spiritual way. Every time he received the Blessed Sacrament he went
He used to say, "We
religious bear the weight of the great sin and ignorance that certain
ones have in regard to the Most Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus
Christ and to His Most Holy Name. If the Blessed Virgin Mary was honoured
because she carried in her womb the very Son of God… If Blessed John
the Baptist trembled and dared not touch the head of Christ… If the sepulcher
which Jesus occupied is venerated; then it is just that he should be holy
who touches with his hands, who receives with his lips and heart the immortal
and glorious Body of Christ."
He would encourage
the people, "With humility and charity I beg you dear people to
use all the reverence and honour possible toward the most Blessed Sacrament
of the Altar, where Christ dwells in the midst of sinful men."
Image: Berto di Giovanni di Marco, "Saint Francis of Assisi", Walters
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