Index to Older Stories
St. Francis of Assisi was a zealous servant of Jesus and Mary. He endeavoured principally to acquire their virtues. As Jesus manifested the virtue of love and poverty, Francis followed His example. He distributed all his property among the poor through love of God. To increase his love of poverty he reflected upon nothing more than upon the poor, helpless Infant and His Mother in the stable at Bethlehem. This Divine Infant became poor for our sake, and Mary, His loving Mother, shared with Him this pressing poverty. Then meditating thus, and especially on the feast of the nativity of Jesus, streams of tears would roll over his countenance. In order to encourage the people to a like meditation he, with the Pope's permission, erected a crib to symbolise the nativity of Jesus Christ. There he would preach with such fervour upon the love of this poor, divine Infant, as to move all his hearers to return this love. This custom of erecting a crib spread abroad and exists to the present time.
O blessed and already suffering Mother of my Saviour, let me partake of thy joy and thy suffering. There at the crib help me to obtain the grace to bear poverty, affliction and sufferings patiently, to renounce this treacherous world and to despise its vanities. Teach me to be ever resigned to the will of God until my death. Amen.
Pray Your Rosary