St. Francis died on Oct. 3, 1226, and was canonized 2 years later. Everyone recognized him for his saintliness. He received the stigmata (Sep. 14, 1224, and was like Christ in his lifestyle and apostolate. Almost blind during the last two years of his life, Francis composed the famous, Canticle to the sun.” He died age 45.
Jesus is making His way to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and rise. He wants His disciples to join Him on this journey. That means there is no place to lay ones head; it means to follow spontaneously; and to refuse to turn back. It means to set one’s face “like flint” toward Jerusalem, just like Jesus.
While the angels eternally sing the praises of the Lord, this memorial serves as a reminder that divine providence has entrusted us to the custody of the angels.
Pope Pius XI did not hesitate to say that “St. Therese of the Child Jesus is the greatest saint of modern times.” Evident by the great devotion given her immediately after her death. She is a witness to two great virtues: a radical humility and total dependence on God, and complete surrender to God’s mercy in an act of perfect love.
The names of the three Archangels are very telling. Michael means “Who is like God?” Gabriel means “Power of God.” And, Raphael means “God has healed.” This Feast is meaningful to us because in every mass we recite the “Sanctus.” “Holy, Holy, Holy” in unison with the angels. Also, we should remember Jesus’ words: “I solemnly assure you, you shall see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
“As my day draws to a close, Loving God, I thank You for all the good things this day has brought. I thank You, too, for the challenges and difficulties, for these were opportunities for me to grow and change as You would have me do. Forgive me, please, for the times I have failed to walk in the footsteps of Jesus this day. Forgive me if I have hurt or offended anyone, and give me the courage to face my limitations. I need Your help and I rely on You. Without You who knows what I might do! May I rest in You this night, and may I fall asleep knowing that You hold me in Your loving embrace. May a good night’s sleep refresh me to begin anew tomorrow to love and serve You and others. Amen.”
This memorial falls one day after the Feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross and reminds us of Mary’s suffering during Jesus’ passion and death. Michelangelo’s Pieta and the hymn, Stabat Mater, are artistic representations of Mary’s grief.