"Lord make me an instrument of Your peace...for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
St. Francis of Assisi
Our University, founded under the Franciscan Order, follows the example of St. Francis of Assisi—a man commissioned by God to build the church and share the Gospel. Born in Assisi, Italy to wealthy parents, Francis lived a lavish life until his twenties when he joined the fight between rival cities. He was taken prisoner and held captive for over a year. After his return to Assisi, while praying in the run down chapel of St. Damian's, Francis heard a voice saying: "Go and build my house . . .". Impulsively, Francis believed he was to rebuild the forsaken wayside chapel. Francis would later give away all his worldly good, often including his shoes and food. Francis served the poor, including the lepers, and traveled the world, spreading the gospel message. Followers of Francis grew to include the three distinct groups: Friars Minor, the Poor Clares and the Third Order of St Francis (lay people). Over 800 years later, people look to St Francis' example of wanting to be like Christ, in living out their lives to serve those most in need. Instead of rebuilding a small chapel in the countryside of Italy, Francis helped to build the church in terms of the church body across centuries. St. Francis of Assisi is celebrated on October 4th.
The purpose of Franciscan Week is to honor our heritage of St Francis of Assisi. The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady sisters founded our University in 1923 to serve those most in need with a nursing school. As we have grown and expanded, the University has kept the legacy of St. Francis alive in educating students, participating in service-learning, community engagement, and emphasis on vocation over career. During the week, we host a variety of events for students, faculty and staff to fellowship as we honor the life of St. Francis and to continue what he started so many years ago.