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St. Francis of Assisi: A Man of the Gospel

December 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Avila Institute, Dylan Jedlovec, Spiritual Theology

St. Francis of Assisi: A Man of the Gospel


I want to reflect upon some of St. Francis' contributions to the Church.

For post on Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi in meditation.

St. Francis of Assisi was first and foremost a man of the Gospel. Wholly devoted to the Gospel message, Francis founded an order dedicated to living a life of poverty and preaching the message of salvation. He did this in the midst of a world obsessed with wealth and material prosperity. Francis’ faithfulness to Christ and the Gospel brought about great reform in the Church and reminded Christians that their treasure lies in heaven not in the material world. St. Francis is known for his love for God’s creation and his ability to recognize beauty in nature. It is said that whenever Francis experienced a spiritual consolation, he would stop in his tracks to be in the moment, at times even when it meant leaving his companions to continue walking on ahead of him. Francis had a rich interior life regardless of his external circumstances:

“For, whether walking or sitting, within doors or without, in toil or at leisure, he was so absorbed in prayer as that he seemed to have devoted thereunto not only his whole heart and body, but also his whole labor and time.”
The Life of St. Francis by St. Bonaventure

In addition to his prayer and faithfulness, Francis was also a man of great courage, seeking to spread the message of Christ without concern for his own comfort or safety, desiring to give his life for Christ if the opportunity presented it. When captured during the Crusades, Francis boldly preached the Gospel of Christ to the Sultan, hoping to either bring about his conversion or die a martyr for Christ. The fruits of St. Francis of Assisi’s work in the thirteenth century are still seen today, with countless saints and apostolates inspired by his work and spirituality. In today's world, it is harder than ever to quiet our hearts and pray, but we can learn from St. Francis' faithful example to develop interior lives that are not subject to the distractions and vanities of the world. With the help of the wisdom of Franciscan spirituality, we can learn to be totally dependent on the grace of God and nothing else.


For those interested in exploring the life of Saint Francis through radio theater, be sure to check out Brother Francis – The Barefoot Saint of Assisi.” This extraordinary production is deeply moving and powerful for adults and children. It was produced by Paul McCusker and the Augustine Institute.


Art for this post on St. Francis of Assisi: Detail of San Francisco Meditando de Rodillas (Saint Francis Meditating on His Knees), El Greco, ca 1586-1592; St. Francis Comforted by an Angel, Francisco Ribalta, circa 1620; both PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; both Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dylan Jedlovec

Dylan Jedlovec was formerly an Operations Administrative Assistant at the Avila Foundation, parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio. Finishing up an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Economics from Samford University, Dylan is first and foremost a disciple of Christ and a son of the Church. Dylan has a heart for evangelization on college campuses, and has worked closely with FOCUS as a student missionary and served as President of the Catholic Student Association at Samford. As a member of the University Fellows Program at Samford, Dylan developed a love for the writings of the Saints, particularly the Doctors of the Church, through his studies of the core texts of the Western Intellectual Tradition. This love for the rich intellectual tradition of the faith brought him to the Avila Foundation, where he seeks to further the kingdom through feeding Christ’s sheep. In his free time, Dylan enjoys watching baseball, reading, hiking, running, and lifting weights (although you can’t really tell).

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