In this 5th week of Lent with St. Francisco, we are focusing on the beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
Jesus demonstrated this beatitude whenever He confronted sin or conflict with a gentle and peaceful heart. Rather than shame the woman caught in adultery, He approached her with forgiveness first. Meaning, He would not hold her sin against her. Then, He was able to address the sin and send her – the person – away peacefully.
At the same time, those wishing to stone her had to resolve sin in their own hearts and the conflict that was quickly arising ended in peace.
To be a peacemaker in our conflict-ridden world is difficult. We too easily want to engage with anger and accusation. It is hard to walk away without getting the last word in.
Sister Lucia said Francisco possessed a quiet and submissive nature. If someone denied him something that was rightfully his, he would walk away peacefully, unconcerned for himself.
Whether he wanted to or not, he frequently rushed to do the bidding of others, including his more vivacious sister, Jacinta.
Like Jesus, he admonished people in such a gentle manner, they could not confront him.
Francisco wanted to be at peace with everyone around him, but also with God. He gladly prayed the many rosaries Mary requested, especially for peace. He sought solitude with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, which gave him peace. So sensitive was he to the sorrow in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, his greatest desire when he got to heaven was to console them and, thus, bring them peace.
While he lay in bed suffering from the Spanish flu, his uncomplaining and tranquil spirit captured the hearts of friends and neighbors. Many people wanted to sit by his bedside and often commented, “I don’t know what it is about Francisco, but it feels so good to be here.”
Francisco emanated the peace of Christ and can surely be called a child of God.