A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Another rich kid embarrasses his dad

Peter Bernadone was a successful businessman with a good family, but his son John was a tremendous source of embarrassment.

He was a failure. The boy had no interest in business or work: he just wanted to have a good time.

Even when he ended up in the armed forces, he ended up getting captured.

After his release, he was sick a long time.

Soon after, he started spending all his time with the dregs of society, giving away whatever he had and spouting all sorts of religious stuff.

Peter was furious: he kidnapped his son and tried to beat sense into him.

John renounced his possessions and inheritance and even gave the clothes he was wearing back to his father.

John was now homeless, wandering around, rebuilding deserted chapels, and gathering a small band of misfits.

Before long, he got the idea to get the Pope’s blessing for his work.

The Pope at that time was a man who was from an even richer and much more powerful family and who was tremendously focused on geopolitics. With a good word from his bishop, however, John was able to get an audience.

To the amazement of many, the Pope blessed John and his work. This surprising papal endorsement led more people to pay attention to John and join his way of life: a life of simplicity, poverty, prayer, and even public begging.

John would go on to do many amazing things and gather a host of followers before dying in his mid-forties on this very day. He would be canonized within two years.

Seven hundred and eighty-four years after his death, Giovanni Francesco Bernadone, known as St. Francis of Assisi, remains one of the most admired and influential saints of Christendom.

(adapted from a previous post)