REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Guide Posts (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) FRANCIS OF ASSISI Francis of Assisi was a saintly Christian who lived from 1182-1226. His home town was Assisi in central Italy. During his early life he was very much a young man of the world, and as a soldier, participated in some wars. Later on he became much concerned about the plight of the poor and turned more to religion. In the year 1209 he founded the Franciscan Order and insisted that its_members should observe complete poverty and that they should work for their living or, if need be, to beg. They were forbidden to accept money for their services. No doubt persons of great piety are to be found among the devotees of all religions even though some of their beliefs and doctrines may be erroneous. Religion is meant to be a way of life which purifies the conduct of a person and draws him nearer to God. Jesus was a true and holy Messenger of God who urged his followers to live devout and holy lives; and Francis of Assisi was one of them who strove to do so according to his understanding of virtuous living. He composed a famous prayer which has spread around the world and which has been translated into many languages: Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace, where there is hatred let me sow love; where is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in-forgiving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Francis of Assasi was a man of joy, humility and devotion. He forsook all for his faith and devoted himself to prayer and the service of humanity especially to the poor. Although, still, many may never have heard of him, all may draw inspiration from the devout life and holy words of this man of God whatever maybe their faith.
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