Here are 5 quick but meaningful ways to honor St. Francis that you can put into practice today.
Do you have a statue of St. Francis in your yard or parish church? Is someone you know named after him? Chances are good the answer is “yes” to at least one of these questions because St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most popular saints of all time.
He’s beloved for understandable reasons. He put the Gospel message into practice with a totality few others have reached. He had a profound connection with all of creation. He embraced his vocation and mission with incredible zeal and commitment. All these centuries later, Christians still look to him as an extraordinary witness and inspiring example.
If you’re someone who loves St. Francis (and who doesn’t?), you’d probably like to do something special to honor him today. But feast days can sneak up on us, and let’s be honest, we’re all busy — it’s not always possible to plan a celebration in advance.
If that’s you, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. As the patron of animals and nature, St. Francis is easy to celebrate. Here are 5 quick but meaningful ways to honor St. Francis that you can put into practice today.
1Pray one of St. Francis’s favorite prayers
St. Francis was a man of profound prayer, so the best way to honor him is to spend time in conversation with God today.
Your first thought might be the Peace Prayer that is popularly attributed to St. Francis, but he actually didn’t write it, although it’s certainly a beautiful prayer and worth praying.
Instead, check out this helpful list of prayers actually composed by St. Francis, provided by the Franciscan Order. Here’s one of them you can pray right now:
The Prayer before the Crucifix at San Damiano
Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord,
that I may carry out Your holy and true command.
2Watch a video about St. Francis’s life
It turns out there are quite a few short videos about St. Francis out there! Catholic Icing has a helpful list of 7 videos about his life, ranging in length from 3 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. So you have plenty of options depending on who’s watching and how much time you have.
3Take care of God’s creation
St. Francis is known and loved for his kindness to God’s creatures and the natural world. One way to honor him today is by doing something to take care of animals and the environment. You might bless your pets, pick up litter near your home, or set out birdseed and water for migrating birds.
4Give to others
St. Francis was known for his poverty and charity. Imitate both his detachment from earthly goods and his generosity by gathering some items from your home to donate to charity, or donating money online to your favorite charitable cause.
5Bake St. Francis’ favorite cookies
This is such a fun way to celebrate St. Francis! He was known to love almond cookies so much that he even asked his friend Blessed Jacoba of Settesoli to bring him some on his deathbed. Here is a simple recipe for almond cookies, so you can “eat like a saint” on this special feast day.