A second witness…

A second witness that St. Francis gives us, noted the pontiff, is that “everyone who follows Christ receives true peace, the peace that Christ alone can give, a peace which the world cannot give.”

Pope Francis reflected that often people associate peace with the great Saint of Assisi, but that few go deeper into the peace which he “received, experienced and lived,” that is “the peace of Christ” which comes from “the love of the Cross.”

“It is the peace which the Risen Jesus gave to his disciples when he stood in their midst and said: ‘Peace be with you!’”

“Franciscan peace is not something saccharine,” he said, “That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos… That is not Franciscan either; it is a notion some people have invented!”

“The peace of Saint Francis is the peace of Christ, and it is found by those who ‘take up’ their ‘yoke,’ namely, Christ’s commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.”

The Holy Father urged that the “yoke” of his patron Saint “cannot be borne with arrogance, presumption or pride, but only with meekness and humbleness of heart.”

Pope Francis concluded his reflections by looking at St. Francis’ witness to respect, “safeguard and protect all that God has created,” in the world, noting the most importantly the Saint’s “love for every human being.”

“Francis was a man of harmony and peace,” the Holy Father recalled, “From this City of Peace, I repeat with all the strength and the meekness of love: Let us respect creation, let us not be instruments of destruction! Let us respect each human being.”

May there be an end to armed conflicts which cover the earth with blood; may the clash of arms be silenced; and everywhere may hatred yield to love, injury to pardon, and discord to unity.”

The Pope prayed in particular for peace in the Holy Land, Syria and the Middle East.

—Pope Francis

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