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Third day of the novena to saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis kissed a leper, Saint Francis and the leper



So many times when we think of saints - we think of their holiness as something accomplished from day one. But it is not so, they like us had to grow. They had to overcome their natural aversion to the crosses and trials of this life. Francis is no exception, common to that period of time not only did he have a great fear of lepers he also had a great loathing for them. He would do anything to let not even so much as their shadow come close to him. So what happens? He is riding gaily along on his fine horse and there is a leper. Quickly he turns his head and speeds his horse past him, and then comes the old remorse. Is this what our Lord would have done? Is this how Jesus would have treated such a poor and pitable man? No, of course not. So he takes a deep breath, turns his horse around and returns to the leper.

So here is where we come in. Who or what are the lepers in our life? If we can change our responses to them as Francis did - I am sure we will find like he did, that the lepers disappear and only Christ remains.

Let us pray...

Saint Francis, all holiness stems from how we treat one another.  Open my heart and my conscience to see the areas I need to change. Pray that I may act upon the grace given, to respond lovingly and generously. Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...

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