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Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi – The First Climate Change Activist

October 4th is the Feast Day of Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone (c. 1181 – 3 October 1226), known as Francis of Assisi.  He was born to a prosperous silk merchant,   and a French noblewoman from Provence

St. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in Roman Catholic history. He founded the Franciscan orders, including the Poor Clares and the lay Third Order. He and St. Catherine of Siena are the patron saints of Italy, and he is also the patron saint of ecology and of animals.

It so happens that today, Pope Francis on released Laudate Deum, a new document taking direct aim at climate change deniers and castigating Western nations, particularly the United States, for irresponsible lifestyles causing irreparable harm to the planet. 

Indulged by his parents, Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man. As a young man, Francis became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine. He was handsome, witty, gallant, delighted in fine clothes and spent money lavishly.

As opposed to George Soros, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg et el, he did not start a Foundation to balance indulgence with hedenophobia. His displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came fairly early in his life, as is shown in the story of the beggar. In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of his business deal, Francis abandoned his wares and ran after the beggar. When he found him, Francis gave the man everything he had in his pockets. His friends mocked him for his charity; his father scolded him.

After he returned from the war in a dream he heard the words “why do burden yourself seeking the servant instead of the Master?”  At that moment his life took on a new direction, guided by his constant wish to know that to which God was calling him. Prayer and silent contemplation in the Umbrian countryside led him to embrace lepers and outcasts as brothers and sisters, those in the past he had always found disgusting and repulsive.

One morning in February 1208, Francis was taking part in a Mass in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, near which he had by then built himself a hut. The Gospel of the day was the “Commissioning of the Twelve” from the Book of Matthew. The disciples were to go and proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Francis was inspired to devote himself to a life of poverty. Having obtained a coarse woolen tunic, the dress then worn by the poorest Umbrian peasants, he tied it around himself with a knotted rope and went about exhorting the people of the countryside to penance, brotherly love, and peace.

Francis gathered with his numerous companions, who shared his desire to live the Gospel to the letter in poverty, chastity and obedience. In 1209 the first group of brothers gathered in Rome to meet Pope Innocent III who, struck by “that short and thin young man with burning eyes”, approved the Rule, later confirmed definitely in 1223 by Honorius III.

Francis was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News. He decided in favor of the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could. He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa, but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases. He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.

Climate Change Activists and conservatives wrongly see the Laudate Dem as tool for the political left.  They seem to forget Laudate Si.  The criticism is directly aimed at the pririviledged class referred to as Climate Change Billionaires Bliss – see link to Animation deleted by YouTube but available on Google

In Singapore, they call it “nudging” consumers to do what the state wants, which is increase use of public transportation, a government official explains, then cracks a big laugh, as he is behind the wheel of a Mercedes.

Recall California Governor Gavin, billionaires & corrupt politicians tell us to eat insects, turn off gas appliances, nudge us  to stop using gasoline cars (make it imposdible to afford filling up) & instead switch to EVs – while they use private jets, eat scrumptious dinners and so on – that’s nothing.
According to a 2022 Oxfam report, 125 of the world’s richest billionaires each emit over a million times more carbon than the average person in the bottom 90%, and a solid 50-70% of billionaires’ emissions are thought to result from their investment.

St. Francis of Assisi: Make me an instrument of your peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


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