"Francis and the Holy Name of Jesus"

Almost everyone knows something about St. Francis of Assisi. The saint of joy. The saint of the little birds and the lovely flowers. The laughing Francis. The singing Francis. The extravagant Francis. The ever-giving Francis.

Our Seraphic Father was all of these things and more, precisely because he was, first and foremost, THE PRAYING FRANCIS. In this series of reflections, we have examined some of the prayers which sprang from Francis’ great love of God and which can help us on our own pilgrimage of faith.


We end these reflections with the simplest and most powerful of all prayers – the Holy Name of JESUS. That St. Francis believed in frequent recourse to the power of the Holy Name is evidenced both in his writings and in the lives and writings of eight centuries of faithful Franciscan followers who, like St. Bernadine of Siena, endeavored to raise high the IHS standard in the Order and throughout the world.


The early biographers tell of that unforgettable Christmas Eve in 1223 on Mount Greccio, when Francis proclaimed the Name of the newborn Savior with such sweetness and such fire, such tenderness and such devotion as to move the hearts of all who heard him. He who was shortly to bear the five wounds of the Redeemer in his body had become so utterly one with Christ that Friar Thomas of Celano was to write:













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Indeed, Francis was always occupied with JESUS;
he carried in his heart;

JESUS in his mouth…in his eyes… in his ears…in his hands….


May the power of His Holy Name be upon us and work through us as light and leaven to a world so much in need of Christ’s saving Presence.