A home for a cat on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Francisco visits the statue of St. Francis of Assisi with Capuchin Father Moises Villalta. (Photo courtesy Capuchin Friars)

Francisco visits the statue of St. Francis of Assisi with Capuchin Father Moises Villalta. (Photo courtesy Capuchin Friars)

For one lucky cat in Washington, the feast of St. Francis is more than a day to receive a few sprinkles of holy water. It’s the anniversary of the day when he found a permanent home.

Francisco, named after St. Francis of Assisi, was an abandoned newborn kitten living in the front yard of a convent of Capuchin Poor Clare sisters in Wilmington, Del. The sisters couldn’t keep the kitten because they already had two dogs that weren’t willing to share space with a cat. The cat bounced around from home to home for a few months but couldn’t find permanent housing.

The Poor Clares had heard that their spiritual brothers in Washington, the Capuchin Franciscan Friars from the Province of St. Augustine, had a mouse problem, and they offered a very Franciscan solution. After convening a chapter, a meeting of brothers, on the pros and cons of having a cat, the brothers voted to welcome Francisco as the house cat at their friary, next to the Shrine of the Sacred Heart.

Francisco, who took the name of St. Francis, but in Spanish, arrived at the friary on Oct. 3, 2011, the eve of the feast of St. Francis.

The friars say they haven’t seen a mouse since then and the cat has come to be a well-known fixture in the parish.

Assisi: what the pope would have said

SUN SETS NEAR BASILICA IN ASSISI, ITALY

The Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) (Nov. 2007)

VATICAN CITY — We all know how the pope likes to set aside his prepared text and speak heart-to-heart to his audience. It looks like he will be doing a bit of the same during his Oct. 4 trip to Assisi.

While the things he says off-the-cuff will grab the headlines, probably not much  coverage will be given to what he had prepared on paper to say.

The Vatican says the pope’s prepared texts are still valid and can be published as if they had been delivered, so we’ll update this blog throughout the day with “What the pope would have said” with some excerpts from his written speeches. Continue reading

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