Marian-Franciscan Charism

The Immaculate and our Apostolic Goal: That Christ be all in all

For the reading “ever Virgin” in St. Francis Salute to the Virgin the recent critical edition of the Poverello's writings gives “Virgin made Church.” Not only do the ancient sources support this reading as the original rendering of Francis himself, the phrase, novel perhaps to our ears, has the very definite advantage of placing Francis [...]

Perfect Obedience and Perfect Love: Union with the Immaculate

One cannot read very far in the writings of St. Maximilian without realizing how insistent he was on the practice of the virtue of obedience, precisely as the most perfect expression and realization of the love entailed in total consecration to Mary Immaculate. The excerpts from his writings included in the previous reflection are typical [...]

Total Consecration to the Immaculate and Franciscan Profession of Vows

Since the Immaculate, the Queen of the Angels, interceded to gain Francis the grace of his call to be perfectly conformed to Christ; to die for love of His love who didst deign to die for love of his love; and since that love of Christ which impelled Him to accept crucifixion is no where [...]

The Immaculate and the Christocentrism of Franciscan Thought

St. Francis often called himself an “idiot,” that is an uneducated man. But whether he was inferior intellectually in wisdom to so many of his famous “educated” sons is a question open to considerable doubt, particularly when we consider that extraordinary relation between him and the Immaculate. And if indeed not only his Order, but [...]

The Immaculate and the Marian Structure of Our Vocation

When the question is asked: What is the specific, distinguishing feature of the Franciscan way and of its christocentrism?, a great many answers are given — all containing a kernel of the truth, but none entirely adequate. Some will point to poverty and penance; others to charity or joy; still others to Francis’ christocentrism, and [...]

Mary and the Understanding of Our Vocation

Celano writes (I Cel. 24) of Francis while staying at the house of Bernard of Claravalle: “And he (Bernard) used to see him praying all night, very rarely sleeping, praising God and His Mother the glorious Virgin.” Rightly, observes Bonaventure: “After Christ, he placed all his trust in her.” (L.M.9,3) For through her help, he [...]