‘poverello’ – The Life-Story Of St.Francis Of Assisi (1181-1226) Poem by Dr John Celes

‘poverello’ – The Life-Story Of St.Francis Of Assisi (1181-1226)

The grace of God ’lone suffices
To help all persons live on earth,
A life, God-directed, divine,
And leave the world in happy state!

A wealthy merchant father’s son,
The boy was christened ‘Giovanni’
After ‘St.John, the Baptist’;
His name was changed to ‘Francesco’;
The lad grew up in lavish ways!

The boy was fond of songs in French-
Troubadours and French traditions;
He was a Roman Catholic,
But loved his Mother Nature much.

His father wished son be like him:
A wealthy businessman and great!
The boy grew up at first that way;
And led a group of raucous men!

His life was easy, staying rich;
He loved his fatherland, France;
He loved the romantic French songs;
War was one way to turn noble.

He joined the war ’gainst Perugia;
His many companions got killed;
He spent a year of dungeon life,
Resuming life of revelry!

Allured by glory, war could give,
He joined the Fourth Crusade again;
With fine a horse, costly armour,
He left for war, a clarion call!

But having galloped for one day,
He heard God talk to him in dream:
God bade him come back to his home;
And Francis obeyed God at once!

His angry father lost control;
He could not bear son’s cowardice;
He had to give up ‘right as heir’;
And led a life of fervent prayer!

God’s spirit took over his soul;
He started meditating much;
He kissed a leper’s hand to show –
‘All men are equal before God! ’

‘Repair my Church! ’ said God to him;
He sold his father’s cloth, rebuilt
The damaged Church wherein he prayed;
But God’s mission was much bigger!

The grace of God was all enough
To make a person live on earth;
In poverty, he spent his life,
And served the poorest poor in strife!

His former wealthy friends joined him.
They followed him to serve the poor;
A humble existence was prime;
To follow Jesus Christ was aim!

In poverty, he was near God;
He surrendered his life to Him;
His health was never good at times;
He got the stigmata while blind!

His master-piece was writ in French:
‘The Canticle of the Sun’
that praised the beauty of Nature,
a holy poem famous still!

He died at age of forty-five;
He was a saint declared by all!
His life was so exemplary!
The ‘Poverello’ lives with God!

Copyright by Dr John Celes 3-26-2009

Dr John Celes

Dr John Celes

Tamilnadu, India
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