The Feast of St. Francis is October 4. Use these suggestions to help you celebrate the feast day well.
1. Go to Mass
While flying from Buenos Aires to Assisi might be a cool way to spend the feast day, it is a highly unrealistic way to connect the birthplaces of both famous Franci*. (*Franci = Francis, plural) My recommendation – Attend Mass at a St. Francis of Assisi parish and then go out to an Argentinian steakhouse for dinner.
2. Be charitable
Give something away you don’t need. Donate. Be charitable. Give up that taste for the worldly life and be moved to live more simply. No, this does not mean ordering a “grande” instead of a “vente” at Starbucks. Be more drastic. Be more stark. Be more Francis.
3. Be creative
Did you know St. Francis is credited with creating the first Nativity scene in 1223? We think Pope Francis would be psyched if you created your own Nativity scene this year – whether it be a woodworking project or LEGO bricks fashioned into the manger scene.
4. Sow joy
In the Prayer of St. Francis, read the line, “Where there is sadness, (let me sow) joy.” Then, GO SOW JOY! Pope Francis does it every day in deeds big and small. In fact, start humming “Ode to Joy” right now and call up the first three people you think of and tell them how great they are.
5. Get moving
Walk and pray. Whether it is in the Vatican gardens or across the Italian countryside hundreds of years ago, finding God in all things big and small is a hallmark of both Saint and Pope Francis. In fact, it’s very Ignatian … and Franciscan.
Previously published September 2014.