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A Peaceful Advent

Francis had always experienced the mysteries of the Lord in meditation. But this time, the mystery of Bethlehem transported him to another world, a world of wonder. The word alone, Bethlehem, was like music that filled his soul with ineffable melodies.

-“Brother John, I would like you to build a hermitage of clay and twigs near the great cavern.”

-“It will be completed by Christmas,” responded John Vellita.

“Christmas! Christmas!” Upon pronouncing the word, Francis’ soul stirred with emotion. “This is the feast of feasts, a day of rejoicing because for our sake a holy and beloved Child was born and placed in a manger, for there was no room for him at the inn.”

I were to find myself before the emperor, I would kneel at his feet and humbly request that he make a proclamation obliging all of his subjects to sow wheat along the pathways of the empire on Christmas Day so that the birds, especially the larks, could enjoy a great banquet. There’s more brother John: Even the very walls of the empire should eat meat on that day. However, since that is not possible, at least smear them with fat and eat them any way you wish. Furthermore, on that blessed day, donkeys and oxen should eat twice as much barley in memory of the donkey and ox that kept Jesus warm with their breath on that sacred night.

Extracted from the book" Brother Francis of Assisi" by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga


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