Deacon Igor Kalinski, OPI, Dominican Hermitage & Oratory of St’s Sebastian & Peregrine in Gevgelija, Republic of Macedonia
HOMILY for the TRANSITUS or Crossing of our holy father Saint Francis of Assisi 04 October 2020
Saint Father Francis of Assisi, I can say our father, because we the Dominicans are very connected with the Franciscan branches of Orders, while living both their early lives, our founder Saint Dominic de Guzman and Saint Francis of Assisi have been close friends and brothers, both orders are mendicant and in different of several years of establishing the orders. Since then, more than 803 almost 804 years of mutual cooperation, respect and mutual harvest and manual work on Gods vineyard, the one cant be without the other. But that is other subject.
Today we commemorate the transitus or the trespassing or the crossing of Saint Francis.
“Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.”
—St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Creatures
Deaths are commonly celebrated in the church, actually every date of death of saint is the birthday in Heaven, as we today commemorate the Transitus of Saint Francis, and in 365/66 days throughout the year, some are double, there is thousands of saints and blessed, even in the Christmas time, is not safe , as one of the major liturgical seasons, because the next day is. In fact, St. Anastasia of Sirmium, an early and very important Christian martyr, has the second Mass on Christmas morning dedicated to her.
On October 4 is the day the Church sets aside to celebrate St. Francis of Assisi’s dies natalis — his birth into eternal life. Francis is easily one of the Church’s most beloved and venerated saints. Thus, even the vigil of his death is celebrated in style. In October 3 is the vigil of his passing over and bears a special name — his Transitus. The word is derived from the Latin meaning “passage,” “crossing” or “going over.”
St. Francis spent the last few days before his death in praising the Lord and teaching his companions whom he loved so much to praise Christ with him. He himself, in as far as he was able, broke out with the Psalm: I cry to the Lord with my voice; to the Lord I make loud supplication. He invite the creatures to praise the Lord, as well he invite sister death that can take him joyfully to meet God, even the death is considered as hateful and terrible, he says welcome sister Death.
We approach soon for the next month in to All Saint Day, when we generally united we offer all transituses that happened throughout the years for those who have passed this life and been both in the Heaven. Our beloved sister Dollie remained me that although she was ill, and she hided from all, but giving the best part of her daily life, with her short consistent petitions offered, smile face. This commemoration today also remind me of deceased brother Philip Gerboc, who was the Francis of the suburbs in this decade, or sister Victoria too, Franciscan servant. Saint Francis loved the nature, helped and communicated and feed animals and wild too, he lived a simple life in poverty and been satisfied with his life, In life, St. Francis of Assisi embraced Nature and everything in calling it a Brother or Sister under God — after all, are we not all Creatures made by the one Creator? He sacramentalized poverty and died owning nothing perfecting the Christian life thus inspiring millions thus giving the Master his investment back a thousand fold. (John 4:38, Matthew 25:14-30) This commemoration of Saint Francis will always remind me to reflect of the grace that we sahred common life in friendship and family. I want to remind all of us, that we are about to live soon or late this earthly life, and that we will experience our own trasitus, and been born again in Heaven. They lived, let perpetual light shine upon them, and they gave us very good example of their Christian life of virtue and failues too. Let us prepare each day stay vigilant, and be like Saint Francis who didn’t own anything, but all the nature he communicated and protected, we dhall do the same in this hateful enviromential disasters, we have toapreciate Gods creatures, not to explote them and torture the animals.W e have to take off the baggage of this world out of our body and soul as St francis and take Jesus yoke. Life can be easy if we can come to that point to live life as Francis lived in a way.
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI PRAY FOR US !