The Word Among Us

Lent 2014 Issue

The Secret to Joy

St. Francis of Assisi shows us the way.

By: Fr. John Bohrer and Joseph Stoutzenberger

The Secret to Joy: St. Francis of Assisi shows us the way. by Fr. John Bohrer and Joseph Stoutzenberger

Joy is the second of the twelve “fruits of the Holy Spirit,” after charity, and yet we have many examples of sad, resolute, and suffering saints. Fortunately, there are also joyful and laughing saints. Philip Neri had a great sense of humor. Teresa of Avila famously said, “God deliver us from sour-faced saints” as she led her Carmelite sisters in dance.

Francis of Assisi was one of those joyful and laughing saints. In fact, he seems to have radiated joy throughout his life; it was perhaps...

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