“TO ALL all the clerics who are in the world and who try to follow the teachings of the Catholic faith: Brother Francis, their least one and unworthy servant, sends greeting with the greatest respect and submission.
“SINCE I am responsible for you, but cannot, on account of my infirmities, address you personally and speak to you, I beg you to r
eceive and remember with all love and charity this brief written exhortation. May our Lord Jesus Christ fill all those whom I serve with his holy grace and comfort them.
“LET US all consider, O clerics, the great sin and ignorance of which some of you are guilty regarding the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and his most holy name and the written words of consecration. For we know that the Body cannot exist until after these words of consecration. (St. Francis is referring to the
used by the priest in the celebration of the Mass.)
“FOR WE have nothing and we see nothing of the most high himself in this world except his Body and Blood, names and words by which we have been created and redeemed from death to life.
"BUT LET all those who preside at the holy mysteries, especially those who do so indifferently, consider among themselves how poor the chalices, corporals, and linens may be where the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is sacrificed. And many of you leave the Body and Blood in wretched places and carried by the way disrespectfully, received unworthily, and administered to others indiscriminately.
“AGAIN, HIS sacred names and words are sometimes trampled under foot, ‘for the unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned’. [1Cor 2:14 RSV CE]
“SHALL WE not by all these things be moved with a sense of duty when the good Lord himself
places himself in our hands
, and we handle him and receive him daily? Are we unmindful that ‘it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’? [Heb 10:31 RSV CE]
"LET US then at once and resolutely correct these faults and others. And wherever the most Blessed Sacrament of our Lord Jesus Christ may be improperly reserved and abandoned, let It be removed from there, and let It be put and enclosed in a precious place.
“IN LIKE manner, wherever the names and written words of the Lord may be found in unclean places, they ought to be collected and put away in a decent place.
“AND WE know that we are bound above all to observe all these things by the commandments of the Lord and the constitutions of holy mother Church. And let the cleric who does not act prudently know that he surely will have to render an account before our Lord Jesus Christ on the day of judgment. And let him who may cause copies of this writing to be made, to the end that the sacrifice may be properly observed, know that he is blessed by the Lord.”
THE WRITINGS OF ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI
, trans. by Paschal Robinson (1905)]
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Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Auxiliary Msgr. George Sheltz
Retired Auxilliary Vincent Rizzotto
Most Rev. Joseph A. Fiorenza
Reverend Richard Barker