Vladimir Lenin, a political leader who taught a form of communism and was the first head of the Soviet Union, came to power in an effort to force everyone into the same social class. Many believe communism can be beneficial to society, but in practice it never works, and there are many reasons why it cannot work. In fact, the Catholic Church is officially against communism. One of Lenin’s goals was to eliminate religion from his country. This destroys the concept of freedom and goes against principles of humanity. Ultimately, Leninism failed, and millions of people lost their lives fighting wars to implement it. Lenin was very sad on his deathbed because of all the suffering and loss he brought to his country. He said he felt as though he was lying in a giant pool of blood, the blood of his fellow countrymen.
In his last words, Lenin, who was against religion in general, set his sights to one of Christianity’s greatest heroes – St. Francis of Assisi. Lenin knew that his ideology had lost, and that Russia had lost, and contemplated what would be required to restore Russia, when he said these words:
“I have deluded myself. Without doubt, it was necessary to free the oppressed masses. However, our methods resulted in other oppressions and gruesome massacres. You know I am deathly ill; I feel lost in an ocean of blood formed by countless victims. This was necessary to save our Russia, but it is too late to turn back. We would need ten Francis of Assisi.”
This shows the amazing character of St. Francis, which is attested to by Lenin.
When Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected by his brother cardinals to lead the Roman Catholic Church, he didn’t have long to meditate before choosing his new name.
We all know now he chose to be called Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi.
There are many wonderful stories about Francis of Assisi. If we can all strive to be like him just a little bit; and a little bit more each day; we can change the world…..
Saint Francis in Meditation (1603) By Caravaggio
What St. Francis of Assisi Teaches Us
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.
- The Counsels of the Holy Father St. Francis, Admonition 27
Such was the will of the Father that his Son, blessed and glorious, whom he gave to us, and who was born for us, should by his own blood, sacrifice, and oblation, offer himself on the altar of the cross, not for himself, by whom “all things were made,” but for our sins, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps.
- Letter to all the Faithful
Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility. Amen.
Hail, queen wisdom! May the Lord save thee with thy sister holy pure simplicity!
O Lady, holy poverty, may the Lord save thee with thy sister holy humility!
O Lady, holy charity, may the Lord save thee with thy sister holy obedience!
O all ye most holy virtues, may the Lord, from whom you proceed and come, save you!
There is absolutely no man in the whole world who can possess one among you unless he first die.
He who possesses one and does not offend the others, possesses all; and he who offends one, possesses none and offends all; and every one [of them] confounds vices and sins.
Holy wisdom confounds Satan and all his wickednesses.
Pure holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.
Holy poverty confounds cupidity and avarice and the cares of this world.
Holy humility confounds pride and all the men of this world and all things that are in the world.
Holy charity confounds all diabolical and fleshly temptations and all fleshly fears.
Holy obedience confounds all bodily and fleshly desires and keeps the body mortified to the obedience of the spirit and to the obedience of one’s brother and makes a man subject to all the men of this world and not to men alone, but also to all beasts and wild animals, so that they may do with him whatsoever they will, in so far as it may be granted to them from above by the Lord.
We are re-reading some of our favorite books on St. Francis and having a Grand time doing so!
John Francis Carey
Peace and Freedom
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