Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memory of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Remembrance of the dedication of the Primavalle "chapel"; the first place of prayer of the community of Sant’Egidio in the outskirts of Rome.
On October 4, 1992, the peace treaty that put an end to the war in Mozambique was signed in Rome. Prayer for all those who work for peace.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 11, 25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed, 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children.

Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.

Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.

Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, remembering his death in the night of October 3, 1226. Even today, his witness continues to move the hearts of many towards the Lord. His conversion was marked by the encounter with the leper whom he embraced and kissed and the listening to the voice from the Crucifix in St. Damian. Since then, he started living the Gospel "without additions" and was a significant witness of it not only within the Catholic Church and the whole of Christianity, but also outside its borders. In a time of the Crusades, the longing for peace pushed him to journey to Damietta to speak with the sultan. He gathered many around him, whom he called "brothers," and chose to live among the minores, the poor who surrounded the medieval cities. In him, the Gospel became the leaven of a universal fraternity that does not know any border. It was exactly this universally recognized dimension that encouraged John Paul II to choose Assisi as the place for the historic meeting among the world’s faiths for the Prayer for Peace in 1986. The Gospel passage that the liturgy offers us on this feast day shares one of Jesus’ prayers in which he thanks the Father for bending on the little ones, revealing to them his mystery of love, that mystery hidden throughout the ages that not even the wise can understand. Such mystery is Jesus himself who was sent to earth to save humanity from the power of evil and of death. It was God’s gracious will to save humanity beginning with the littlest and weakest ones. Francis was among the little ones who have welcomed and lived this love. In this way, he is part of the long host of people that stretches throughout the entire Scriptures as a single gold thread. It is God’s preference for the poor and the weak. It is here that God starts to save the world. Francis retraced the old story of Jesus’ disciples: they, simple and despised people, were chosen by Jesus as apostles of the Kingdom. Not only did he reveal to them his mystery, but also he entrusted it to them so that they would manifest it to the world. Through these disciples, Jesus continues to address the tired crowds of this world, telling them: "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." It is this path Jesus continues to show to the disciples: to gather the weak and learn from him to be gentle and humble of heart. Life with Jesus is sweet and light; life according to the world is hard and heavy.