The Omens of St. Francis of Assisi for Our Times
“There will be an uncanonically elected pope who will cause a great Schism, there will be diverse thoughts preached which will cause many, even those in the different orders to doubt, yea, even agree with those heretics which will cause my Order to divide, then will there be such universal dissension and persecutions that if those days were not shortened even the elect would be lost.”
Shortly before he died, St. Francis of Assisi called together his followers and warned them of the coming troubles, saying:
1. “The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.
2. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death.”
3. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.
4. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.
5. Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.
6. Those who preserve their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth, but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, Christ, these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.
7. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.”
Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250
Feast of the Impression of the Stigmata of Saint Francis of Assisi
While Saint Francis of Assisi, in September 1224, was rapt in meditation on Mount Alvernia, Almighty God as a mark of His special favor deigned to impress on his hands, feet, and side the likeness of the sacred wounds of Christ. Until the day of the saint’s death blood flowed from these wounds at intervals. Pope Sixtus V ordered this feast to be observed by the whole Church. Clement VIII suppressed it, because the Church only dedicates special solemnities to the mysteries of our redemption; particular favors granted to the saints by God directly concern their individual sanctification and are commemorated when the life of each saint is read in the Breviary on the day of his feast. The feast was restored, however, by Pope Paul V, and raised to a rank of a double by Pope Clement XIV. Its observance is a privilege overstepping the ordinary rules of the Liturgy, extended in honor of St. Francis and not only rare, but also unique. Christ was pleased to imprint upon his new apostle, the herald of the Great King, this stigmata as His final seal changing him to His own image and likeness and uniting him to Himself on the rood of the Cross.
EMBER DAYS IN SEPTEMBER
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 14 September, are known as, Michaelmas – Embertide – A Day of Fasting and Prayer. A Partial Abstinence.
On this day of partial abstinence, all between 21 and 59 years of age are bound to fast and those over 7 must observe the law of abstinence. On days of fast only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength may be taken according to each one’s need, but together they should not equal another full meal that includes meat. Eating between meals is not permitted but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed.
Impression of the Stigmata of Saint Francis of Assisi – Ember Wednesday in Michaelmas
“Stabant juxta crucem”
INTROIT: Galatians 6:14
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
With my voice I cried unto the Lord: yea, even unto the Lord did I make my supplication.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
But God forbid that I should glory…
Mihi autem absit gloriari, nisi in cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi: per quem mihi mundus crucifixus est, et ego mundo.
Psalm 141: 1
Voce mea ad Dóminum clamávi: voce mea ad Dóminum deprecátus sum.
Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
Mihi autem absit gloriári…
Lord Jesus Christ, Who, when the world was growing cold, didst renew the sacred marks of Thy passion in the flesh of the most blessed Francis, to inflame our hearts with the fire of Thy love, graciously grant that by his merits and prayers we may continually bear the cross and bring forth fruits worthy of penance. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Second Collect – Ember Wednesday in Michaelmas
O Lord, that the healing power of thy mercy may give strength to our weakness, that those things which do pass away by their own frailty, may be renewed again by thy clemency. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
EPISTLE: Galatians 6: 14-18
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Galatians
Brethren, But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any-thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature: and whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them, and mercy, and upon the Isræl of God. From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me; for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body. The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
GRADUAL: Psalm 36: 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment.
V. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted.
ALLELUIA Alleluia, alleluia. V. The poor and lowly Francis entereth Heaven abounding in riches; he is acclaimed with celestial hymns. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: Matthew 16: 24-27
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew
At that time: Jesus said to His disciples, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for My sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels: and then will He render to every man according to his works.”
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted.
Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts we offer Thee; and by the intercession of blessed Francis cleanse us from every stain of sin. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Second Secret Prayer – Ember Wednesday in Michaelmas
Grant, O Lord, we pray thee, that this oblation may in such wise cleanse us from all our sins: that we thy servants, being sanctified both in body and soul, may worthily offer unto thee this our sacrifice. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God…
PREFACE Common Preface
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria Tua. Hosanna in excelsis. + Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.
COMMUNION: Luke 12: 42
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
O God, Who didst in many ways demonstrate in blessed Francis, Thy confessor, the mysteries of the cross, grant us, we beseech Thee, ever to follow the examples of his devotion and to be fortified by constant meditation upon the same cross. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God…
Second Postcommunion – Ember Wednesday in Michaelmas
O Lord, who hast suffered us to receive thy heavenly gifts: we humbly beseech thee; that, like as of thy mercy we are enabled devoutly to offer the same unto thee, so by thy goodness we may worthily receive them in our souls. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God…
St. Francis of Assisi ora pro nobis.