It is said that St. Francis deliberately did not see the wood for the trees. It is even more true that he deliberately did not see the mob for the men . . . He only saw the image of God multiplied but never monotonous . . .from the Pope to the beggar, from the sultan of Syria in his pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there was never a man who looked into those burning brown eyes without being certain that Francis Bernardone was really interested in him; in his own inner individual life from the cradle to the grave; that he himself was being valued and taken seriously, and not merely added to the spoils of some social policy. . .
But as St. Francis did not love humanity but men, so he did not love Christianity but Christ. Say, if you think so, that he was a lunatic loving an imaginary person; but an imaginary person, not an imaginary idea . . .To this great mystic his religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love affair.
Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – two great “little” saints in one week! And happy name day to Pope Francis!
The above is from G. K. Chesterton’s book St. Francis of Assisi. You’ve never read it? Oh, go read it read it read it!