St. Francis of Assisi Says to Imitate the Good Shepherd

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

April 21, 2024

Jesus as the Good Shepherd was an image that St. Francis of Assisi cherished. How do we know this to be true? In one of his undated writings called the “Canticle of Minority” or The Admonitions, the saint referred to Jesus the Good Shepherd in his remarks in Chapter VI, entitled “Imitation of Christ”. See how this kind of medieval literature presented a passage from the Bible and then moved listeners to a practical application in daily life.  

“Let all of us, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd Who bore the suffering of the cross to save His sheep.

The Lord’s sheep followed Him in tribulation and persecution, in shame and hunger, in weakness and temptation, and in other ways; and for these things they received eternal life from the Lord.

Therefore, it is a great shame for us, the servants of God, that the saints have accomplished great things and we want only to receive glory and honor by recounting them.”

Indeed, St. Francis is quite blunt in encouraging his friars to truly love God and others. We are not to be content in admiring others’ good deeds. We need to be virtuous ourselves.

To better picture this view of Jesus and to help us all to take these words to heart, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share a striking stained-glass window from Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Pastor Father Alan M. Guanella shared this photo which highlights the Fourth Sunday of Easter Gospel theme. We pray for the members of this parish family and each of us as we selflessly imitate the Lord in each of our vocations.



Article Comments:

Sister Anne Marie Lom 04/21/2024 @ 5:59 am

What a beautiful reflection for this Sunday’s emphasis on the Good Shepherd! I did not know that The Admonitions were also called The Canticle of Minority! Thank you!


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