“Letter to the Faithful” of Saint Francis of Assisi
"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Because I am the servant of all, I am obliged to serve all and to administer the fragrant words of my Lord to them.Therefore, realizing that I could not visit each one of you personally because of sickness and the weakness of my body, I decided to offer you in this letter and message the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Word of the Father, and the words of the Holy Spirit, which are spirit and life.
The most high Father made known from heaven through His holy angel Gabriel this Word of the Father – so worthy, so holy and glorious – in the womb of the holy and glorious Virgin Mary, from whose womb He received the flesh of our humanity and frailty. Though He was rich, He wished, together with the most Blessed Virgin, His mother, to choose poverty in the world beyond all else. And as His Passion was near, He celebrated the Passover with His disciples and, taking bread, gave thanks, blessed and broke it, saying: Take and eat: This is My Body. And taking the cup He said: This is My Blood of the New Covenant which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Then He prayed to His Father, saying: Father, if it can be done, let this cup pass from me. And His sweat became as drops of blood falling on the ground. Nevertheless, He placed His will in the will of His father, saying: Father, let Your will be done; not as I will, but as You will. His Father’s will was such that His blessed and glorious Son, Whom He gave to us and Who was born for us, should offer Himself through His own blood as a sacrifice and oblation on the altar of the cross: not for Himself through Whom all things were made, but for our sins, leaving us an example that we might follow His footprints. And He wishes all of us to be saved through Him and receive Him with our heart pure and our body chaste. But, even through His yoke is easy and His burden light, there are few who wish to receive Him and be saved through Him."
From the “Letter to the Faithful” of Saint Francis of Assisi
Prepared by the Pontifical Theological Faculty