“Mary, the Virgin Mother of God…always rewarded the piety and the faith of her client [St. Francis] by heavenly protection and by particular gifts.”
– Pope Leo XIII, “Auspicato Concessum”, 1882
“Then, too, St. Francis ’embraced the mother of the Lord Jesus with an indescribable love’ for having made ‘the Lord of Majesty our brother’ and ‘after Christ he put all his trust in her’ (St. Bonaventure, Legenda major IX, 3).”
– Pope John Paul II
“He bore unspeakable love for the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, because by her the Lord of Majesty became our Brother, and through her we have obtained mercy. In her, next to Christ, he placed his confidence: he took her for his advocate, and in her honor he was accustomed to fast devoutly, from the feast of the Apostles, Peter and Paul until the festival of the Assumption.”
– St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church
“St. Francis embraced the Mother of Jesus with an inexpressible love because it was she who made the Lord of Majesty our brother. He composed special songs of praise in her honor, he poured out prayers and offered her his affection. He made her the Advocate of the Order and placed under her wings the sons he was about to leave, that she might cherish and protect them to the end.”
“There are two lessons of the divine Master in particular that Francis followed with complete fidelity:
1.) obey the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth;
2.) venerate and imitate his most holy Mother Mary.
The legitimation of his work in the Church, including the institution of a new religious order, depends entirely on the words of the first chapter of his rule: ‘Brother Francis promises obedience and reverence to the Lord Pope’. In this same perspective, shortly before dying, he recommended to his brothers to ‘keep the faith of the holy Roman Church’ (St. Bonaventure, Legenda major XIV, 5).
Then, too, St. Francis ’embraced the mother of the Lord Jesus with an indescribable love’ for having made ‘the Lord of Majesty our brother’ and ‘after Christ he put all his trust in her’ (St. Bonaventure, Legenda major IX, 3). He imitated Mary in her meditative silence, especially after having been stamped by Christ, on this mountain, with the signs of his passion, thus showing that the greater the privileges God bestows, all the greater is the recipient’s duty to conceal them.
‘The evangelical man, Francis’, St. Bonaventure tells us, ‘came down from the mountain bearing with him the image of the Crucified…engraved in the members of his body by the finger of the living God’; ‘aware that he had been given a royal secret, to the best of his powers he kept the sacred stigmata hidden’ (Legenda major XIII, 5).”
– Pope John Paul II