Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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JennGM
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Posted: Sept 27 2005 at 4:59pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Well, October 4 is right around the corner. I have a few ideas for our home celebration that I thought I'd pass them on...and hear your ideas for this popular saint.

Books:
The Living Nativity Book from Printery House which tells the story of St. Francis and creche. It's from a different angle, where Francis helps a little boy see the importance of the birth of Christ, but this boy helps him set up the creche. I like the illustrations except that Francis looks very bald, but a modern day bald, like my father.

Francis: Poor Man of Assisi by Tomie de Paola.

Elizabeth Orton Jones illustrated a delightful book I picked up at a used book sale called Song of the Sun: From the Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi. Delightful! She's the same illustrator of Prayer for a Child.

The Good Man of Assisi, another beautiful picture book.

Non-picture books, at other reading levels:

Gentle Revolutionary by the Daughters of St. Paul from their Encounter Series. I grew up on this series....love them!

Francis and Clare: Saints of Assisi, Vision Book.


Little Flowers of St. Francis


The Joyful Beggar by Louis De Wohl

St. Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton.

Links:

Catholic Culture . There are numerous links here for biographies, actual writings by St. Francis, etc.

Women for Faith and Family

Story of the Creche. Turn down the volume. Beautiful picture.

Saints Preserved.

Recipes and Cookbooks

I received as a housewarming gift some beautiful Tuscan Landscape Cocktail plates, with beautiful watercolor scenery of Tuscany from Williams-Sonoma, but I think in stores only, not the catalog. I know it's not Assisi, but the scenes remind me of Assisi, and I plan to use them for his feast day.

Assisi is part of the region of Umbria in Italy, so cookbooks with recipes from this region are easy to find.

I will also serve wine for the grownups, either from this region, or Franciscan label from CA.

Recipes that are said to be St. Francis' favorite foods:
Almond Slices

Mostaccioli

Frangipani.

There seems to be a common theme of almonds as the dessert Francis loved.

Ciao Italia in Umbria by Mary Ann Esposito. Her website is Ciao Italia. Her book doesn't have St. Francis recipes, but I thought these would be nice and simple, like St. Francis:
Farmer-Style Pureed Bean Soup
Gubbian Flat Bread
Raw Vegetables with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pinzimonio. The author also suggest putting salt and pepper on the table, and serving with crusty bread and bowl of olives.
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake.
Discussion and Prayers

Canticle of the Sun

Prayer of St. Francis is not actually by him, but it's in the spirit of St. Francis.

Blessing of Animals. I do think that blessing stuffed animals is a little offbeat, IMHO.

Discussing animals and their importance to us, but also teaching that they do not have immortal souls is important in our time. Viewing the devastation in New Orleans from Katrina, some people lost their lives because they would not leave their pet. Our society has elevated pets to the point that they are just as important (sometimes more) than humans!

St. Francis is the patron of ecology. Heart and Mind had a terrific ecology unit based on St. Francis, but it's not in the archives anymore. Some have taken this theme and made the preserving of the environment their God instead of viewing it as God's creation.

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MaryM
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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 1:26am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

jenngm67 wrote:
Well, October 4 is right around the corner. I have a few ideas for our home celebration that I thought I'd pass them on...and hear your ideas for this popular saint.

Oh, I'm so glad you posted this, Jenn. I was just thinking last week how much I have enjoyed the recent brainstorming sessions on the feast days for the Archangels and St. Therese. Whenever the feast day topics come up there are always great ideas. It's also a good reminder that the feast days are coming up. So everyone keep posting ideas and requests for ideas as feast days approach!

On to St. Francis:
This is a charming (but unfortunately out of print) picture book on St Francis – Leo Politi’s
Saint Francis and the Animals

I haven’t read these two yet, but just requested them (also out of print).
Clark, Ann Nolan /Agnes Tait. Paco's Miracle. Cadmus, c.1962
Paco's grandfather raised him high in the mountains of New Mexico, with the ideals of Saint Francis. Later,after Paco had come down to stay in the little Spanish village, he dreamed of the animals and brought gifts through the snow for the Posada.

Gallico, Paul /Reisie Lonette.The Small Miracle Doubleday, 1952,
Pepino's dear donkey is gravely ill and he decides to take her to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

Both sound like they would be good. I have read several other Ann Nolan Clark books. They are great. She does a real nice job of writing about the people of New Mexico – most of the characters are Catholic and the faith is infused in subtle ways throughout the books.


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JennGM
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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 7:59am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

MaryM wrote:
This is a charming (but unfortunately out of print) picture book on St Francis – Leo Politi’s
Saint Francis and the Animals


I'm going to have to read more of Leo Politi's books!. This "gallery" shows the covers of all his books. Fun! My library doesn't have that book...I'll have to keep an eye out.

MaryM wrote:
I haven’t read these two yet, but just requested them (also out of print).
Clark, Ann Nolan /Agnes Tait. Paco's Miracle. Cadmus, c.1962
Paco's grandfather raised him high in the mountains of New Mexico, with the ideals of Saint Francis. Later,after Paco had come down to stay in the little Spanish village, he dreamed of the animals and brought gifts through the snow for the Posada.

Gallico, Paul /Reisie Lonette.The Small Miracle Doubleday, 1952,
Pepino's dear donkey is gravely ill and he decides to take her to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

My library system is not the greatest! Darn!

Seems to me there is a picture book or two about the St. Francis and the Wolf. Ring any bells?

And, speaking of the Basilica, that's a whole area of study in itself. Giotto, frescoes. There's an image in the lower church that they believe to be the most accurate of St. Francis...that's the image in the top right hand corner of the page above.

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JennGM
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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 8:00am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Here's the story of St. Francis through Giotto's images.

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 8:26am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I'm answering my own question: Picture books on Brother Wolf. Has anyone seen this one: Brother Wolf of Gubbio by Colony Elliott Santangelo?

I've seen Brian Wildsmith's works recommended several times on these boards. Here's his St. Francis.

Father Lovasik's St. Francis of Assisi picture book.

OSV has two for children. I haven't seen these: St. Francis and His Feathered Friends by Anne Neuberger and this one is out of print, St. Francis by Margaret and Matthew Bunson.

This page has a HUGE list of reading for all ages on St. Francis. Really good suggestions here.

Here's an idea for music...I saw this little News Blurb that Haydn's Mass for Peace (Missa in Tempore Belli} is going to be played in the Basilica.

Copywork ideas: Besides his Canticle of the Sun, how about Sermon to the Birds? or his idea of Perfect Joy?

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 8:49am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I found one more on my bookshelf. It's out print, copyright 1983, but it's called The Story of Brother Francis by Lene Mayer-Skumans, Art by Alicia Sancha. This was translated from the original German. The illustrations are beautiful watercolors, that won the Austrian Children's Book Prize from that country's Ministry of Education and ARt, and the Catholic Children's Book Prize, awarded by the German Conference of Bishops. Originally published in Austria as Geschichten vom Bruder Franz.

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 9:22am | IP Logged Quote momwise

MaryM wrote:
Gallico, Paul /Reisie Lonette.The Small Miracle Doubleday, 1952,
Pepino's dear donkey is gravely ill and he decides to take her to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.


I thought I had this on my shelf but it was another Gallico book. Anyway, while I was looking I found "The Work of St. Francis," by MacKinlay Kantor. It's a beautiful story about the intercession of St. Francis in the life of a poor orphan boy. I also have a Curtis International/Portraits of Greatness volume "The Life and Times of St. Francis. Don't know if this is still in print, but Mikey's godmother picked up St. Francis of Assisi: Activities and Coloring Fun for Children by St. Anthony Messenger Press. It's an exceptional activity book with heavy paper, paper dolls and includes a story of St. Francis. Also.....Prayers From the Ark by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold and translated by Rumer Godden would be a wonderful source to read from over the next few days!

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 9:25am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

momwise wrote:
I thought I had this on my shelf but it was another Gallico book. Anyway, while I was looking I found "The Work of St. Francis," by MacKinlay Kantor. It's a beautiful story about the intercession of St. Francis in the life of a poor orphan boy. I also have a Curtis International/Portraits of Greatness volume "The Life and Times of St. Francis. Don't know if this is still in print, but Mikey's godmother picked up St. Francis of Assisi: Activities and Coloring Fun for Children by St. Anthony Messenger Press. It's an exceptional activity book with heavy paper, paper dolls and includes a story of St. Francis.

Great suggestions! I think I've seen that Activity book, and gave it to one of my nephews.

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Also.....Prayers From the Ark by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold and translated by Rumer Godden would be a wonderful source to read from over the next few days!

I was just looking at that on my shelf thinking the same thing!

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 9:34am | IP Logged Quote momwise

I found mrboyle2's list of Franciscan books for children at amazon.com. One thing your library may have Jenn is Francesco's Friendly World, which interestingly is a protestant cartoon video.

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 10:42am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Page on St. Francis of Assisi. Here's the link to the Activity Book that Gwenn raved about.

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 11:21am | IP Logged Quote Louise

You can find many picture books on Saint Francis and other saints at St Francis Bookshop . Make sure you check both pages of saint books for children. They also have a whole page of Tomie dePaola books.

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 12:16pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

jenngm67 wrote:
I'm going to have to read more of Leo Politi's books!. This "gallery" shows the covers of all his books. Fun!

Thanks for the link - I hadn't seen that link on him. I have loved all his books I've read so far.

Quote:
My library system is not the greatest! Darn!

We are so lucky in Denver because our library system is awesome. They do have lots of older "oop" books. Even if they don't have it, we have a system of local libraries that work together so I can request from them through our library (much easier than inter-library loan). Between the two I can usually find most books.

Quote:
Seems to me there is a picture book or two about the St. Francis and the Wolf. Ring any bells?

I see you found one of the stories that is about the wolf of Gubbio. That wolf story covers a large portion of the Politi book as well.




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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 12:18pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Louise wrote:
You can find many picture books on Saint Francis and other saints at St Francis Bookshop .


The book from that page - SONG OF FRANCIS AND THE ANIMALS - Pat Mora, woodcuts by David Frampton looks lovely. I am very partial to woodcut illustrations!

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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 1:22pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

jenngm67 wrote:
Elizabeth Orton Jones illustrated a delightful book I picked up at a used book sale called Song of the Sun: From the Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi. Delightful! She's the same illustrator of Prayer for a Child.


This was originally printed in 1952. In Googling, I just found out that Ms. Jones just passed away in June 2005...may she rest in peace. I just read this book to my son, and wanted to pass on a really neat idea inspired by this book and its illustrations.

In her introduction:
Many people have little statues of Saint Francis in their gardens, where birds come and flowers grow. I have one, too -- in a little shelter which is nailed to a tree. The little shelter is brown, but the part behind Saint Francis is painted blue because, I think, the sky behind the town of Assisi, in Italy, is always very blue. On the floor of the little shelter, around Saint Francis' feet, I put seeds and crumbs and things birds like to eat, especially in winter. And birds come. Squirrels come, too. They seem to feel that they are welcome. They seem to know this little man, this great man, who talked to them and tamed them, and hoped that no one would catch them or kill them or do them any harm....
The illustrations show this statue to look like an roadside shrine, like Hummel depicts, found in the Swiss, German and Austrian roadsides. The statue isn't much more than a foot high. I though this would be a great project to make, and such a classy birdfeeder!

I also wanted to include the end of her introduction. It's just so beautiful:

There are many stories about Saint Francis. I hope you will read them all, some day. And there is a beautiful prayer of his which I hope you will know. But now -- listen to the words of the song he sang and left here in the world for us to sing, too.

Song of the Sun we call it -- or The Song of Brother Sun. Sometimes it is called The Canticle of the Sun, and sometimes The Canticle of the Creatures. Canticle means son; not just an ordinary song, but a song of praise. And that is just what his song is: praise to God for all things, by all creatures.

Listen -- not only with your ears but with your whole self. Let the song become part of you. Let the love and the joy Saint Francis felt be your love and joy, too.


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Posted: Sept 28 2005 at 11:20pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

I hope that some day every one of you can go to Assisi. Although it's very heavily touristed, it's just wonderful. Giotto's frescoes in the Basilica of St. Francis are awesome. However, for me, the best part of the Basilica (and one I would never have photographed) is the tomb of St. Francis. The Basilica has three levels; Giotto's frescoes decorate one level, Sunday Mass is held in the next level down, in a separate chapel, and the crypt holds the tomb. There is a constant procession of pilgrims (even during Mass, which is a bit distracting) shuffling down the steps to the crypt. But, when you get down there, it is just what you would think the great Saint would have wanted. It's so humble. People leave offerings (money, flowers, candles, notes) by Francis' tomb, to request his intercession, but even that small level of busyness is overshadowed by the quiet humility of the place. The first time I visited this holy spot, I just cried. I'm so thankful that St. Francis' final resting place is humble, quiet and prayerful; in spite of all the fuss people made over him during his life and after his death, the real spirit of St. Francis will always live on in the quiet crypt under the Basilica.


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Posted: Sept 29 2005 at 6:42am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

guitarnan wrote:
I hope that some day every one of you can go to Assisi. Although it's very heavily touristed, it's just wonderful. ..... I'm so thankful that St. Francis' final resting place is humble, quiet and prayerful; in spite of all the fuss people made over him during his life and after his death, the real spirit of St. Francis will always live on in the quiet crypt under the Basilica.

Oh yes! Well said! I had the same feelings when I visited. As I was going through the different levels, I kept thinking it was "so much" for simplicity loving St. Francis. But the crypt said it all.

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Posted: Oct 03 2005 at 7:08am | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

I loved Assisi!! I prayed at the tomb of St. Clare for a husband. I met my dh 13 days after I came home and his middle name is Francis.

St. Fancis was the first saint my Mom ever told me about when I was about 3 or 4. I just love him so much!

Thanks for all these wonderful suggestions on how to celebrate his feast day tomorrow.

God bless,

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Posted: Sept 28 2012 at 12:09am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

And bumping this St. Francis thread also since it includes lots of suggestions not in the newer thread.

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Posted: Oct 01 2014 at 10:46pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

A couple fun game ideas I saw here.

St. Francis and the Wolf Tag: After sharing a version of St. Francis and the Wolf (from the books listed below or from American Catholic), play a game of tag. One child is the Wolf. One is St. Francis. The rest are the villagers of Gubbio. On “go”, the Wolf tries to tag the villagers. If he does, they must freeze or lay down. Meanwhile Francis tries to catch the Wolf. If he does, he says, “In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, let there be peace between you and the people.” That round of tag ends.

Build a Church: It is said that when St. Francis first heard his call to religious life, he was told, “Rebuild my church.” He took this command literally, thinking he was to rebuild the church of San Damiano in Assisi. Thus, he began to do so, stone by stone. In honor of his obedience and hard work, gather as many rocks as you can find and then construct your own mini-churches. Get creative. Use twigs as a cross to decorate it.

---------------
Short chapter book by Elizabeth Coatsworth and illustrated by Leo Politi. So good. Set around feast of St. Francis The Noble Doll

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