Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (10: 25-37) in which Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. After reading the Gospel, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Francis of Assisi whose memorial we celebrate today.

Fr Paul says, Francis was the son of a very prosperous cloth merchant in Assisi. When Francis’ father objected to Francis selling his goods without consent to pay for the restoration of a church, the bishop commanded Francis to pay back the money, which he did. However, he also renounced his father and gave back everything he had been given including his clothes.

Francis then began a live of extreme poverty, living by begging.  He preached to all the love of God and the love of the world. Others joined him and they founded an order.  Francis travelled Rome and the then Pope sanctioned this new order and, thus, the Franciscans as they became known, were born.

Ten years later, 5000 men had joined the order.  It was Francis who started the practice of the Christmas Nativity scene that we use throughout the world every year.  He died in 1226.

Fr Paul says today, as we celebrate his life, we pray St Francis of Assisi, pray for us.