The first sentence of the Rule of St Francis, approved in 1223 and lived by many Franciscans today, makes quite clear the basis and object of a Franciscan Friar’s life: “The Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of one’s own, and in chastity.” A way of life that walks in the footprints of Jesus is the one to which followers of Francis are called, a life centred on Gospel values, perhaps summed up no better than Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12) and his command that we ‘love one another as I have loved you’ (John 13:34-35).
The 2017 Franciscan Calendar features examples from two cycles of art by Giotto (1267-1337) from the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi. The complete ‘Franciscan cycle’ in the basilica depicts significant moments in the life of Francis. The complete ‘Scenes from the New Testament’ depict episodes in the life of Jesus which surely inspired Francis, e.g. the humility of the birth of the baby at Bethlehem, the homage paid by simple men to the newborn king, the total giving and selflessness exhibited in the death of Jesus, the forgiveness and welcome of sinners by Jesus who appeared after his resurrection to Mary Magdalene, and more. The twelve samples in this year’s Franciscan Calendar can remind us, theologically and artistically, of the link between the life of Francis and his observance of the Holy Gospel.
As Francis of Assisi was a man of the Gospel for his times and an example and mentor for our times, this calendar will encourage us every day of the year to do our part now. As people inspired by Francis and Jesus, we are encouraged to take up heartily those words often attributed to Francis of Assisi: ‘Preach the Gospel at all times and, when necessary, use words’.
The Calendar size is 25 cm wide by 34 cm deep when fully opened to hang on a wall. When opened, each top half page (25x17 cms) features a colourful image; the bottom half features useful information such as public holiday and school holiday dates, phases of the moon, church feastdays, Franciscan feastdays and space to write your own reminders in a particular date.
The Franciscan Calendar makes a great Christmas gift for all year round. Cost is $6 each and postage is free within Australia and New Zealand.
To purchase Calendars, please complete the order form below and return to:
Franciscan Provincial Office
47 Victoria Street
Waverley NSW 2024
Telephone: (02) 9369 9300
Fax: (02) 9369 9322
2017 CALENDAR ORDER FORM