St Francis of Assisi is, as you know, one of our most popular saints. We place statues of Francis in our gardens, we bless our animals on or near his feast day, and we make pilgrimages by the millions to Assisi to pray in the presence of his holy relics and to soak in something of the life of this great man. When we picture St Francis of Assisi, most of us undoubtedly have an image in our minds of a meek and kindly man with a bird perched on his shoulder. And it was because we have this image of the kind and gentle St Francis that so many of us were excited last March when Cardinal Bergolio was elected pope and took “Francis” as his papal name, the first bishop of Rome ever to do so.
But it was because he loved so fully that St. Francis was able on this night to welcome Sister Death warmly, and so to fly to the embrace of the God who is love. I pray that we might follow his lead in his life and his death.
Image of Pope Francis from www.thevalleycatholic.com