O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! that the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under a morsel of bread. Consider, brothers, the humility of God and pour out your hearts before Him, and be ye humbled that ye may be exalted by Him. Do not therefore keep back anything for yourselves that He may receive you entirely who gives Himself up entirely to you.
The third reading of Matins for the Feast:
Francis was born at Assisi in Umbria and, following his fathers example, as a young man became a merchant. After recovering from a very serious illness he began most eagerly to undertake works of charity and, since his father indignantly objected, he gave up to him everything he had, adding that henceforth he had a better right to say, “Our Father who art in heaven.” Having heard the Gospel. words concerning the poverty of Apostles, he took off his sandals and kept only one cloak and, when he had gained twelve disciples, founded the Order of Friars Minor. This was confirmed by Pope Innocent III, who had been divinely forewarned, and it spread in a wonderful way. Later Francis went to the solitude of Mount Alvernia where, on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, he received the stigmata from a Seraph carrying between his wings the image of the Crucified; the traces of the nails and the lance then appeared in his hands, feet and side. Two years afterwards he fell very ill and, in the Church of St. Mary of the Angels where he had received the spirit of grace from God, he exhorted the brothers to poverty, patience and the preservation of the faith of the holy Roman Church and, on October 4, most lovingly breathed forth his soul.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.