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Francis of Assisi and Jesus!

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Francis of Assisi, the universally known monk and saint, was born into a noble family in the 12th Century, in Italy. 

As a young man, he was the worst type of spoiled, rich kid. He was a musician and a party hound. He lived for music, poetry, drinking and women – not necessarily in that order. 

Legend has it that after one of his trips away from home, where he could party without having to hear from his parents about his antics, as Francis was riding his horse toward Assisi, he saw a leper next to the road. 

Although lepers were every bit as feared and as loath-some in the 12th Century as they were in Jesus’ day, for some reason Francis dismounted and walked over to the leper. He gave the man all the money in his pocket – and then, extra-ordinarily, he took the man’s hand and kissed it. 

As he put his lips to the leprous flesh, Francis felt at peace for the first time in his life. He hugged the man, previously considered untouchable and gave him the kiss of peace on his cheek. 

The man kissed Francis’ cheek in return. Francis then got back on his horse and rode away. As he turned to look back at the leper, the man was gone – and Francis knew that he had met and ministered to Jesus himself.

Although Francis had been struggling for a long time with the feeling that Jesus was trying to speak with him, it took the presence of this leper to open his eyes to the real Jesus living all around him. 

And stories like this didn’t end with St. Francis. They continue today. All we have to do is to put our smart phones down for a good while and to turn off the TV’s we so depend on. God can then open our eyes to see Jesus living all around us.

I along with others who travel to Haiti and other Third World countries will tell you that we see Jesus in the faces of the materially poor.

Thanks to John Bedingfield for sharing.  Thanks to Hugo Magalhaes for the picture. 

Have YOU ever seen Jesus in the face of another person?


Please share this St. Francis story with someone you know. And listen to my Podcast:

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