In Meetings, Events and UpdatesMarch 16, 20243 Minutes

The Legacy of Saint Francis


Wisdom Shared in Assisi

Assisi, Italy, March 16, 2024:

In the sacred town of Assisi, Italy, the homeland of the revered St. Francis, Sri Madhusudan Sai shared his insights on finding divine inspiration in the saint’s extraordinary life. Drawing parallels between the spiritual traditions of India and Italy, he highlighted how both civilisations have upheld the ideal of progressing from individual existence to the realisation of the all-pervasive ultimate reality.

St. Francis of Assisi, through his radical values of poverty, chastity, and obedience embodied by selfless service to all beings, provided a shining example of this spiritual evolution. “He loved Jesus with all his heart, soul and might,” Sri Madhusudan Sai extolled, “But at the same time, he loved everybody as his own.” In serving lepers, the downtrodden and the sick, St. Francis followed in the footsteps of Jesus by realising the Christ consciousness within.

Seeing great similarities between St. Francis’ Franciscan order and the Indian tradition of sannyasis who renounce worldly life to serve humanity and the divine, Sri Madhusudan Sai explained why it was important to establish a spiritual centre in Assisi. “This is the most sacred place in Italy. Why don’t we have a centre here where people can come and get inspired?” he asked.

 

He has requested the team in Ital to build a “Hall of St. Francis” so visitors can imbibe the saint’s spirit of blessing ordinary human lives with extraordinary divinity through complete surrender to God’s will. “We need people of sacrifice, detachment and surrender in today’s times,” Sri Madhusudan Sai urged, reinterpreting St. Francis’ vows for a modern context of living a life of need over greed, non-attachment yet worldly engagement, and obedience to one’s inner voice.

Critiquing the human tendency to honour the messenger over the message through building grand monuments, Sri Madhusudan Sai emphasised embodying the core teaching: “Help everyone, hurt no one, love everyone, serve everyone.” He shared his own mystical experience of St. Francis affirming the ancient Indian wisdom of non-dualism (advaita) – “You, me and Jesus, we are all one spirit.”

Ultimately, the sacred grounds of Assisi are meant to inspire us and carry forward St. Francis’ legacy of realising the fundamental oneness of all existence through loving service. As Sri Madhusudan Sai poignantly stated, “We have to leave behind such a legacy so that 800 years down the line, people will talk about us, get inspired, and continue uplifting future generations.”