Why after you?
Followers of Francis and Clare today
Once when Francis had been praying in the woods near the brothers’ house of the Portiuncula, Brother Masseo came out to meet him, and half jokingly asked him ‘Why after you? Why does everyone run after you, want to see you and hear you and obey you? After all, you are not handsome, or learned, or wise, or rich. So why is all the world running after you?’
Francis was very moved, and prayed for a long time. Then he replied to Masseo, that God had chosen him, Francis, because he was foolish and sinful, since, ‘God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world … to reduce to nothing things that are …’ (1 Corinthians 1:27 – 28), so that all the honour and glory might be God’s.’ (Little Flowers of St Francis 10)
(l-r: St Mary of the Angels Assisi; Tree Lined road to St Mary of the Angels; The Portiuncola)
Despite his desire for obscurity Francis remains today one of the best known and best loved of saints, and an increasing number of people are coming to value Clare in the same way. In the links below, a few present day members of CSF and SSF explain why they are drawn to follow Christ in the way of Francis and Clare.