Luke 9:23

Published for


Butterfly Symbol of the BSP of Saint Francis

          St. Francis

May 2004


Madonna with the Child, Saint Francis and Saint John the Evangelist
Madonna with Saint Francis and Saint John the Evangelist
1320-1325, Pietro Lorenzetti, Basilica of Assisi, Lower Church

      One day blessed Francis went to the hermitage of Mount La Verna. He liked its isolation so much that he wanted to keep a Lent there in honor of St. Michael. He had climbed the mountain before the feast of the Assumption of the glorious Virgin Mary. He counted the days between this feast and that of St. Michael: there were forty. Then he said “In honor of God, of the blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother and of Blessed St. Michael, the prince of the angels and of souls, I wish to observe a Lent here.” He went into the cell he wanted to occupy during all that time; and during the first night he prayed to God to show him by a sign if it was God’s will that he live there. As a matter of fact, when blessed Francis stopped in a place to pray or when he was traveling through the world to preach, he was always concerned about knowing the will of God so that he might conform himself to it and please the Lord. He sometimes feared that, under pretext of withdrawing into solitude to pray, his body was in reality seeking only to escape from the fatigues of preaching throughout the world for which Christ did not hesitate to come from heaven to earth. He also asked prayers of those who to him seemed to be friends of God, so that the Lord would make it known to him whether, to fulfill his will, he ought to go and preach to the people or withdraw himself to this solitary place to pray.

      He was still praying when dawn was breaking, and suddenly birds of all kinds came and perched on the cell in which he was staying. But they did not all come at the same time: first one came and sang his melodious song and withdrew; then another came, sang, and he, too, went away; and so on. For blessed Francis this was a cause of great admiration and consolation. As he was wondering what this meant, the Lord answered him interiorly: “It is a sign that God will give you many graces and consolation in this cell.” And so it truly came to pass.

The Legend of Perugia - 1246


      This little story about St. Francis is replete with points of his life that should be common to all of our meditations about him. He sought quiet places of prayer, and Mount La Verna was that to him. In such places he prayed, and they provided a stellar opportunity, which he always sought, to spend more time with God. His desire to identify another ‘Lent’ to honor God, the Mother of God, and St. Michael’ is a testimony to the depth of his love for heavenly things, and his friendship with the hosts of heaven. And he prayed all night. Nothing more needs to be said about that. We cannot pray too much!

      Most singularly St. Francis had a deep and abiding love of the Holy Virgin, Mary, Mother of Jesus. In so many ways in his life he kept vigils in her honor, and he consecrated his Orders to her maternal love and care. His example is the only one we need to feel about Mary as we should as Franciscan minded children of God. Our consecration of our lives and the Association of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis to her should parallel his. Let us renew our commitment to Mary.


Bruce Fahey, Minister
Shelley Fahey, Messenger
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Penance and friends of Christ,

Peace to you in every regard.

We hope you are enjoying the Easter Season. It is a beautiful season of joy and hope and calls us all to share our faith and confidence in God and to grow deeper in the mystery of the risen Lord! The cry: ‘The Lord is Risen!” should mount not only from our voices but from our hearts and our actions as well. We should become pillars of light and good works should resound from our lives as “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Mt. 5:16)

      It is a good time to reflect on who we are called to be. We have left a season of preparation, Lent, and entered a time of joy, the Easter season. There is a message in the seasons of the Church that we should not miss here. We prepare for things that are to come; then they come. We prepared for the Resurrection of the Lord by doing penance and mortifying ourselves; then it came. We struck at the core of our weaknesses during Lent to re-learn the strength of self-denial and self-control. As St. Peter said “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.” (2Pet.1:5-7) Self-denial is part of the equation we need to write in our lives if we wish to grow closer to Christ. From it comes endurance, devotion, affection, and love. Happy things.

      May is the month of Mary. Good things happened with Mary after the Resurrection. Will we ever know how she lived her secret life. Perhaps not, but she was a great help to the early Church, and still is to us. Little is said of her in the Gospel, yet we know she must have had an awesome secret life of prayer and penance. Glimpses of this are given in the private revelations of modern Saints.

      Mary routinely fasted and prayed, and even more routinely maintained a prudent and frugal attitude towards the things of the earth. Exactly how we will perhaps never know, and that in itself is probably also a message. We must do what we are called to do as Mary did to be faithful to her call as mother of the Redeemer and all of mankind. She did not know she would be our mother when her son died. She learned from Him, while He was yet on the cross, that she would be mother to St. John, and in that assignment from her Son she acquired every man as son and every woman as daughter. She became our mother, and she holds before us always the encouragement of mother to become all we can be. Her modern call, as given in all modern apparitions, is for her children to do penance and amend their lives, and live the Gospel of her Son. May we find the strength to obey her motherly direction.

      We all need self-discipline and prayer. It is to be routinely a part of our adult Christian lives. Without it we will surely flounder, and never be effective ministers of Christ’s message. Yours in Christ,

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP



AS WE MOVE ON: Business items for BSP members

      The Inquirer application has been improved so that those who submit it can do so electronically directly from our Web page. On average we receive several new inquiries into the Association weekly, and occasionally one came in blank due to some form of Internet affect. This latest improvement in our Web page by Anna Ferroni, our Web-master, will eliminate such problems in the future. As it will work now applicants will complete the Inquirer Application on the web site, then hit a button to mail it to BSP headquarters. The application will immediately be submitted to the BSP and normal processing will continue from there.

      Another improvement to the web site that is coming will be a change in our forums. They will still be password protected, but we will use a new “view” to show all responses to anything posted by any member. This will allow quicker access to all of the subject material and ideas related to any theme presented in any of the forums by our members. They should be easier to use and easier to understand, and a better way to share our common walk. This change is being made in response to member feedback that the current forums are somewhat difficult to use or understand.

      Also, a new prayer list is coming. We have always had the freedom to post prayer requests on the web site, but now we will have a prayer list moderator who will gather our prayers and mail them on some regular basis to all members so we know what and for whom we are praying. Everyone can post prayer requests on the website. The prayer request are reviewed by the Prayer Chaptain and added to a prayer list after approval. The prayer list will be online, and also emailed weekly. When you receive the email, you may unsubscribe through a link placed at the bottom of the email itself, if you don't want to receive the prayer list anymore. We hope you take time and read the prayer list however. All members should pray for our various causes daily.

      Preparations for Retreat 2004 are well on their way. The retreat will go from Friday evening, July 30th, to Sunday midday, August 1st. Members will be given first priority on attendance, but we would appreciate it if you would get your retreat deposit of $25 to us by July 1st. Please inform of us of your intention to attend by June 1st if at all possible for planning purposes. If you have any questions on the retreat please call or email us.

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP

Member to member: Advice to a troubled friend:

My dear friend,
I understand that you are depressed about your career. You feel marginalized. I do feel very in tune with you as I too was marginalized (much more than you I think) during the final years of my work career, and I was terribly ashamed. It is so human to feel sad about being marginalized. But we must keep things in perspective. Remember the BSP motto: “In the world, but not of it, for Christ.” Say to yourself: What am I doing here on earth? Choose kindness, choose love and unselfishness, choose faith, choose humility. You will not be judged by your work career, but by how you loved God and neighbor. Nothing else matters. May every day be for us a day of loving Jesus, in return for His love for us.

Father Corey Belden

Father Corey Belden

Father Corey is our new Visitor, and is fully involved in parish work as the Parochial Vicar for St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s Parishes in Stillwater, Minnesota. He was born, raised, and ordained in the Twin Cities and is very excited to help us in the Association. We happily welcome Fr. Corey Belden! Questions may be directed to Father Corey through the Communication Center of the BSP.

Congratulations Carla!

Carla Barth SFO, a BSP member, has requested the status of Honorary membership in the BSP after completing the formation program of the BSP this past month. She is a professed Secular Franciscan, and by becoming an Honorary member of the BSP she can retain her membership intact in the Secular Franciscan Order. The SFO, like many Third Orders, prohibits its members to pledge to the Rule of life of other Church families, including the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis. In this role, which is one of honor, she will participate in the life of the BSP, and remain active in promoting its life of penance. She is presently serving as a formation advocate within the Association. God bless you, and thank you Carla!!

Archbishop Harry Flynn of Minnesota
ArchBishop Flynn

Prior Lake Retreat Center chapel
Mass celebration in the Chapel

Prior Lake Retreat Center outdoors
The outdoors of the Prior Lake Retreat Center

Prior Lake Retreat Center outdoors
Winter at Prior Lake

- RETREAT 2004 -

The 2004 retreat for the Brothers and Sisters of St. Francis will be held at the Franciscan Retreat Center at Prior Lake, Minnesota from Friday evening, July 30th to Sunday noon, August 1st.

The expected cost is $120 for everything.

We are very happy to report that the Visitor of the BSP, Father Corey Belden, and Father Valerius Messerich O.F.M., our first Visitor, both hope to be at the retreat, and that our primary retreat speaker will be Fr. Robert Altier, a very renowned speaker in the Twin Cities area. Fr. Altier’s talks and much more are recorded on his Web site at:
http://www.desertvoice.org/ .

We will also be blessed to have
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn celebrate Mass on Saturday night, and we are sure the Archbishop will have a powerful message of support for all present.

If you wish to book your attendance at the retreat please send a $25 deposit to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis; 20939 Quadrant Ave. N., Scandia, Minnesota 55073.

Travel arrangements can be coordinated with the BSP Communication Center at the same address if you are planning on coming in by rail or air. The retreat schedule will be published as we get closer to the date. If you have any questions please call Bruce or Shelley at the BSP Communication Center at 651-433-2753.

Anna Ferroni
A meditation - By Anna Ferroni BSP - Italy

Reading an article on an Italian magazine, I learned that a Catholic Church in Baghdad is dedicated to "Our Mother of Sadness". I thought, it is not so common that name for a church, but how appropriate for a church in Baghdad. How sad must be Mary's maternal heart for the war. We live in an age full of conflicts, outrageous crimes, scandals and perversions. The way to rid the world of all of these is the Gospel of Penance: the proclamation of the necessity and importance of the way of mortification and self-sacrifice. Mary said in many apparitions she was sad and worried for the destiny of mankind, unless people convert to a life of penance. Her call in 1917 at Fatima was centered on conversion, reparation, penance and prayer. The life of Penance is the beginning of the life of authentic love of Christ Jesus. We see this in the lives of several Saints. Just think of St. Francis. The beginning of his conversion was a life of hard labour to rebuild St. Damiano's church; a life of charity for lepers, despite their wounds and smell which so revolted him; a life of fasting and prayer. Such was St. Francis's love of Christ. If we love Christ, we will want to walk with Him. And to walk with Him is to be His disciple. But, as He teaches, we cannot be His disciple, unless we take up our cross and only then follow Him. There is no greater work more needful, more important than a personal commitment to a life of penance. And no time has the Church had more need of this among its members than the present time. Each moment of our lives is an opportunity to contribute to the struggle between Our Lady and her adversary, the evil one. What is our response to God's call, which He gives to us through Mary?


Winnie Spencer-Dealy
Mary and Contemplative Prayer:
By Winnie Spencer-dealy BSP

        The Blessed Virgin Mary is our best and greatest model for Prayer. Our Rule is founded on prayer, and the Catholic Faith is rich in the tradition of prayer. We have many holy examples and models for the sacred communication we call prayer. As a 1 Novice in the BSP, I am learning to increase my vocal prayer, and more richly, add meditative and contemplative prayer to my days. The Church makes it easy for us to increase our vocal prayer, as we have the Liturgy of the Hours to rely on, uniting our prayers with that of the whole people of God. But there is a rich source of teaching on meditative and contemplative prayer.

        From writings on such classic teachers as John of the Cross, Teresa de Avila, Frances de Sales, and also more contemporary writers as M. Basil Pennington, and Anthony de Mello, we learn about both contemplative prayer and meditative prayer. We have much to meditate on: the Birth, Passion, and Death of Jesus, His Resurrection and Ascension, the holy examples of the Saints. But where do we look when we pray in a contemplative way?

        Mary pondered on the life of her Son, "keeping all these things in her heart." Contemplative prayer is prayer of the heart, not of the mind. We are to rest our minds. To do this, we call upon the patronage of our Mother Mary. We ask that she aid our protection, and bid her to pray with us. We join our prayers with hers, and we still the mind. We concentrate on a fixed point, regulating our breathing, soothing the restless mind, and keeping it still. Then we rest in that stillness, gathering Energy and Light. Mary is with us, praying with us, her mantle around us, and we commune with God. This is the beautiful practice of contemplative prayer.

        Because she is our Mother, we follow her ways, and love her. We serve her interests, for they are united with our Lord's. Mary watched as Jesus went alone to pray. We are sure that He communed with God, and that the Creator loved Jesus in full. Mary observed this, and sought to contemplate these things, seeking God in prayer. She now takes us as her children and teaches us how to pray, and we may learn from her. What a blessed opportunity!. So do not seek to hesitate when she bids you to come to her and learn from her. She will guide us in our practice. Dedicate your contemplative prayer time to Jesus and Mary, and then rest in God.

        We shall not forget our earthly mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and sisters this Mother's Day. We will honor them for the spirit of the feminine, that beautiful Lady-likeness and Motherly quality that we see in the Blessed Virgin. May God bless them all, and may our prayers be blessed. Happy Mother's Day to all this season, and always.

May 2004

IV. No one should claim the office of superior as his own

      “I did not come to be served but to serve” (Mt. 20:28), our Lord tells us. Those who are put in charge of others should be no prouder of their office than if they had been appointed to wash the feet of their comrades. They should be no more upset at the loss of their authority than they would be if they were deprived of the task of washing feet. The more they are upset, the greater risk they incur to their souls.


Saint Francis

And both the brothers and the sisters shall have their fur garments of lamb's wool only. They are permitted to have leather purses and belts sewed in simple fashion without silken thread, and no other kind. Also other vain adornments they shall lay aside at the bidding of the Visitor.

  • For the Love of God - Fur and lamb's wool are pretty much out of fashion. In fact, often hard to find. This article appears again as a call to simplicity. We can choose to respond in different ways. Perhaps we can choose to wear an older coat, or just keep one coat. The same could be applied to belts and purses also. Regarding laying aside vain adornments without being told, we can minimize our personal jewelry. The "Visitor" in these articles was normally a priest. So, if we have questions on this, or other things, we can go to our spiritual directors, or a priest or religious friend, and ask what we should do. St. Francis always valued obedience to others as spiritually sound. It is a form of fasting or self denial. If one is married they can ask their spouse, and then obey them, for the Love of God.

  • For the Love of God - In one particular story about St. Francis it is recounted how the father of St. Francis "...arranged to have Francis brought before the bishop of the diocese, where he should renounce all his claims and return everything he had (from his father). In his genuine love for poverty, Francis was more than ready to comply and he willingly appeared before the bishop. There he made no delay - without hesitation, without hearing or saying a word - he immediately took off his clothes and gave them back to his father. Then it was discovered that he wore a hair-shirt under his fine clothes next to his skin. He even took off his trousers in his fervor and enthusiasm and stood there naked before them all."

  • For the Love of God - As followers of St. Francis we should always remember and often reflect upon the Scripture wherein the Lord tells us to: "Stop worrying, over questions like, `What are we to eat, or what are we to drink, or what are we to wear?' The unbelievers are always running after these things. Your heavenly Father knows all that you need. Seek first his kingship over you, his way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides. Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Today has troubles enough of its own." (Matt. 6:31-34)

[*] This is a meditation on the Rule of 1221 written by Bruce and Shelley Fahey prior to the creation of the BSP. Do not confuse this meditation with the official Rule and Statutes of the BSP as posted on the web page at www.bspenance.org which define how we live the Rule today. A copy of the Rule and Statutes of the BSP may be obtained by writing the BSP Communication Center.

Paul Beery

        “Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you believe. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (Jn. 20, 29) Some look down on Thomas because he had to see to believe. There were many others who saw Jesus and not only didn’t believe, but put Him to death. How many of us have asked for a sign? We can identify with Thomas.

        We celebrate the Resurrection of the Christ, made special this year by “The Movie.” It’s difficult to leave “The Movie” behind and move on as though something very dramatic hasn’t happened. The Passion of the Christ has moved so many hearts, brought about so many conversions, and has everyone talking about Jesus in a positive way, that one would like to remain in this present moment. The images it calls to mind make prayer so easy: Mary coming to the aid of the child Jesus, and to her Son on the Way of the Cross saying, “I’m here.” The two Mary’s wiping the precious blood of Jesus from the pavement. Or Mary Magdalene on Calvary when the Cross was about to be turned over. She was prostrate on the ground, horrified with fear of what would happen to Jesus, covering her face yet wanting to see. Mary of Agreda says that angels held the Cross and prevented Jesus from being crushed under it. She also said the executioners deliberately put the holes for the nails too far apart so that the arms of Jesus would be hyper-extended. We get little glimpses like this of the enormity of the suffering Jesus endured for love of us.

        Will we ever know the whole story, perhaps a documentary in a theatre in the sky? Like Thomas we are changed when at last we see, and have no more excuses. Now we know what it means to be scourged. No wonder the special friends of God visibly bled from the wounds of Jesus once they saw, becoming a perfect Image of their Master. They were in tune with what really mattered to Him, and dead to self. Anyone with a heart for loving, anyone with the gift of tears at seeing so great a love and wishing to make some semblance of a meager return has to cry out: “What can I do for you, Jesus?” The answer is: Plenty.

        “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Those are the words we hope to hear from our Savior when we meet Him. The operative word is “faithful.” I don’t know if there is anything we can do that will be more beautiful for God in this Age of Apostasy than to be faithful to Jesus and His Bride the Church. Many who try to follow Jesus have stumbled on His “Hard Sayings,” but instead of walking away from Him, today they remain to sow seeds of discord, confusion and division. Disciples follow their Master, not someone else, or a conscience not in conformity with the Truth.

        “The Movie” has corrected a great imbalance since Vatican II. A friend of ours said that a progressive Sister once told her, in effect, to “stop praying and get to work!” We now realize the necessity of prayer and personal devotion to the Master. Fidelity is the perfect antidote to the pathological self-absorption of the ‘60’s generation, where the emphasis shifted from the Sacred to the Secular, from Jesus to self, and from prayer to action, without contemplating whether that action sprung from God’s will or self will. Books were written on whether Jesus was accompanying us on our journey. Mel Gibson made sure the accent is on faithfully following Jesus, not the other way around.

        After wandering in the desert of dissent for 40 years with the disobedient, it’s time for the faithful to exert their influence in the Church and in society. “Someone stop this!” cried the women when the soldiers were mercilessly beating Jesus just before Simon of Cyrene came to His rescue. Who will stop the merciless scourging of the Mystical Body of Christ through the scandal of dissent? The faithful suffer greatly along with their Master at this present-day scourging. A true disciple accepts and believes in the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals (Doctrine), and submits to the authority of the Magisterium (Discipline). One reason I joined the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis is to make a continuing public statement that I will be faithful to Jesus in imitation of our holy father St. Francis, the model of humility and obedience. St. Francis would be outspoken in his denunciation of the dishonor shown Jesus through disobedience to His Church. What will our response be, especially now that we have actually seen with our eyes a Love beyond all comprehension.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of YOUR FAITHFUL, and enkindle in them THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE!

Morning Star Chapter—BSP

By Donna Kay Rock, SFO, Warren, PA— Postulant in the BSP

        Our Lord when He arose, was transfigured in His Glorified Body. We all are in the transition time now, after the Resurrection Of Our Lord.

        St. Mary Magdalene wanted to hold on to Jesus, after she realized , He was not the Gardner; "Rabboni, Teacher!" I often wondered why St. Mary Magdalene couldn't embrace Jesus, but I realized it was because the purpose of His Resurrection was not accomplished. He had to go before the Father in our behalf, in His Glorified Body. He would also send us the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, to be with us till He returns again. As the angel said to the Our Lady and the Disciples, when Our Lord ascended, "Why do you stand looking up to Heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you to Heaven, shall come in the same way as you have seen Him going up." What consolation indeed! We too will have glorified bodies after our own Resurrection, because of what Our Lord did for us. We now, have Our Lord in the tabernacles of our Holy Catholic Churches, till the end of time, He is in His Glorified Body there, and also he dwells within! us, if we let Him, and if we are in the State Of Grace.

        Let us take this time between The Resurrection and the Ascension, to meditate deeply on the Gospels, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts. When we get caught up with the world and it's troubles, and our own, let us stop, close our eyes, and think of Our Lord in His Glorified Body.

        May all of you, dear Brothers and Sisters, find a special peace and love of Our Lord in your hearts during this time in the Church's Calendar. Let us pray together, "Marantha, Lord Jesus, Come!

Mystic, Missionary and Martyr, the "Enlightened Doctor"

Ramon (Raymond) Lull was born of a distinguished family at Palma in the island of Majorca of the Balearic group in 1235. Of his infancy and early youth nothing is known for certain. He was accustomed to medieval luxury from his birth, as his parents had a large estate and his father was distinguished for military services. He received the education of a knight, frequented the court of Spain, and became an accomplished poet, philosopher, theologian, and alchemist.

In 1257 Lull married and soon became father of two children.

Ramon Lull
Ramon has a vision of Christ Crucified
His luxurious and hedonistic living continued until he was thirty years old. Then he was permanently changed by an amazing fact. One evening he was busy composing a love-song to a married lady. Suddenly there appeared before him a vision of the Crucified Christ. The next evening, no sooner had he sat down to complete the song than the vision appeared again. For four nights in a row the vision repeated itself. Finally, Lull understood: this was a special message for himself to convert and to devote himself entirely to Christ's service.
Lull surrendered to Christ calling him. Whilst the vicissitudes of his life were yet to begin, the struggle in his soul was over. He felt engraved on his heart the great spectacle of divine Self-sacrifice. Henceforth he had only one passion, to love and serve Christ.

On the fourth of October, Lull went to the Franciscan church at Palma and heard a sermon on Saint Francis. The preacher said that Francis, son of Pietro Bernadone, was a rather wealthy young man on the road toward economic success, but the Crucifix spoke to him. Francis then exchanged his clothes for the garb of the mendicant, and renounced all the wordly goods to follow the gospel, visiting the sick, tending the leprous, and preaching the Gospel; and in 1219 Saint Francis crossed over to the infidels and witnessed for Christ before the Sultan, declaring, "I am not sent of man, but of God, to show thee the way of salvation."

Lull was truly impressed by the sermon as he saw analogies between Saint Francis' call to conversion and his own. He felt called to follow and imitate Saint Francis. So, Lull sold all his property, which was considerable, set aside enough to support his wife and children, gave the rest to the poor, and became a tertiary of the Order of St. Francis professing the Rule of 1221.

One day, he was praying in a little cave near the summit of Mount Randa, when he received an enlightenment. He descended from the mount and wrote a formidable book, "The Art of Finding Truth". Later he wrote "The Book of the Lover and the Beloved" and "The Art of Contemplation", both of which stand on their own as spiritual treatises. Of his works there exists no complete catalog. 282 titles are given in the first published edition of his books (1721). He also invented a mechanical machine, in which the subjects and predicates of theological propositions were arranged in circles, squares, triangles, and other geometrical figures, so that by moving a lever or causing a wheel to revolve, the propositions would arrange themselves in the affirmative or negative and thus prove themselves to be true. This device he called the Ars Generalis Ultima or the Ars Magna.

Muslims constituted a majority of the population in Majorca. Raymond thought to devote his energies to proclaiming the Message of the Cross to the Saracens. In 1285 Lull went to Rome, and persuaded the Pope Honorious IV to establish schools in Arabic and related languages in Paris and Rome.

From Rome, Lull proceeded to Genoa and found a boat sailing for Tunis. Though admittedly afraid, he decided to imitate Saint Francis and embarked on a mission to the infidel; in Tunis he debated with learned Muslims. Back to Europe, he pleaded for a crusade that would not conquer and claim but would occupy and convert, for if the three monotheistic faiths could be drawn together under the banner of Universal Religion, they would be invincible in brotherhood. But the Pope, the king of France and the Holy Roman emperor were involved in their own politics, and Lull did not find audience.

About 1291 he went to Tunis again, preached to the Saracens, and disputed with them in philosophy. After undergoing many hardships and privations he returned to Europe, then back to Africa, and around Europe several times. In 1311 he went to Vienna, for the purpose of laying before the Council of Vienna his plans for the conversion of the Muslims. He did not succeed.

Ramon Lull
Ramon, imprisoned, discusses theology with Muslims
Raymond longed for the martyr's crown in his heart. He burned with love for the Crucified Christ and wished to give his life for Him. Again in 1315 he set out for Tunis, knowing he was going to death. In Tunis he was stoned to death by the Saracens. To be stoned to death while preaching the love of Christ to Muslims, that was the fitting end for such a life.
His body was brought back to Palma of Majorca, and was laid to rest in St. Francis' church, where it is.

The followers of Raymond, known as Lullists, degenerated into heretics. This is why, in spite of his holy life and his crown of martyrdom, Raymond has not been canonized.

" Lull," says a modern writer, "was the greatest of medieval missionaries, perhaps the grandest of all missionaries from Saint Paul to Carey and Livingstone. His career suggests those of Jonah the prophet, Paul the missionary, and Stephen the martyr."

In 1915, on the six hundredth anniversary of his death, a new epitaph was set up on Lull's tomb in the church of San Francis in Palma, taken from his own words in the Tree of Love:

"Here lies a Lover,
who has died for his Beloved,
and for love,
who has loved his Beloved
with a love that is good, great and enduring,
who has battled bravely for love's sake,
who has striven
against false love and false lovers,
a Lover ever humble, patient, loyal, ardent,
liberal, prudent, holy and full of good things,
inspiring many lovers
to honour and serve his Beloved."

Submitted by Anna Ferroni—Turin, Italy

His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn. 2:5)

By Defendente Ferrari, Mary and Child
Madonna and Child, 1520-30, by Defendente Ferrari, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.


is a non-profit Private Association of the Faithful, which is dedicated to renewing the ancient way of penance as contained in the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221 for lay people in our modern world. We have the approval of the Catholic Church to do this through several of its bishops. If you are bound by another Rule of life in another profession of the way of St. Francis that does not permit you to enter other religious families you are nonetheless invited to become an Honorary member of our Association and add the elements of this beautiful way of life that Saint Francis of Assisi gave us to the lifestyle of your profession.
All members, and Franciscans, are welcome to submit articles for consideration for inclusion in this newsletter if they are directed towards the spiritual formation of members or are the outgrowth of the lifestyle of the Association or a committed Franciscan life. Just send them to the BSP of St. Francis at the address on this newsletter. Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends or neighbors. It is intended to be the primary monthly communication of the Association. And if you can find it in your heart and in your budget remember that donations to the BSP are used strictly to promote the lifestyle and are tax deductible. We remain, always, sincerely yours in the love of Jesus Christ!

Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP

Visit our Web site at:


In the world, but not of it, for Christ!


20939 Quadrant Avenue N - SCANDIA MN USA 55073
Phone: 651-433-2753   

E-mail: minncc@aol.com