Language Translator

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Holy Grounds Keeper

~ photo by Suzanne * December 5, 2013 * Fort Worth, Texas

Happy winter, my dear gardeners!  I hope you are all staying warm and comfy during this cold time of year.  Some of us have already braved temperatures under 20°, and have fought ice and snow (myself included). And, now, we're trying to catch up and get ready for the ultimate annual coming of Spring!

So, how's your garden growing?  Me?  Uh, well, there have been a few setbacks in my yard!  But, I have taken some potted plants indoors, and they are faring rather well at this point.

~ Nativity Scene-St. George Catholic Church
photo by Suzanne * December 18, 2013 * Fort Worth, TX

I bet you're wondering why I've posted the above photos...St. Francis of Assisi and a Nativity scene after Christmas?  Well, you know, I just got to thinking about my poor St. Francis garden statue, and wondered if I should retire him after nearly 20 years of  exemplary service.  Wouldn't you agree that he is looking a bit weathered?  He has acquired quite a few injuries over the years!

And, I bet you're wondering what all this has to do with the Nativity scene?  Well, I only found out this past Christmas, that St. Francis, while visiting the town of Grecio in 1223 to celebrate Christmas, desired a larger area to hold his congregation for Midnight Mass.

In a small corner of town, St. Francis found a spot and set up his altar, after securing permission from the Pontiff.  He brought in hay and prepared a manger, adding an ox and ass, then, summoned the people for the service.  St. Francis preached to the brethren about the baby of Bethlehem, singing his praises, making for a joyous and memorable Christmas.  It is due to the devotion of this holy saint, that we honor the crude and poor beginnings of our Baby Jesus, celebrating the night he was born.

~St. Francis's Nativity

Although St. Francis, was born into a wealthy and prosperous family, he chose to live in poverty, and acquired a following while preaching in the streets.  He founded a religious order for women, The Franciscan Order, and the Order of Brothers and Sisters, having been authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210.

Being a lover of all of God's creations, St. Francis was said to have preached to hundreds of birds, about being thankful for God's care, and, for the independence they enjoyed.  The birds stood still as he walked among them, and, they left only, when St. Francis gave them permission.  He believed that all of God's creations were his brotherhood.

St. Francis of Assisi died when he was only 45 years old in the year 1226.  He was never ordained as a Catholic Priest, but is considered one of the most highly regarded religious figures in history.  And, on June 18, 1939, Pope Pius XII named Francis a joint Patron Saint of Italy along with Saint Catherine of Italy.

My dear St. Francis
~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, TX

Saint Francis' feast day is observed on October 4.  He is honored in the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church USA, the Old Catholic Churches, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, along with many other churches and religious communities.

***  Well, my dear friends, I'm sure you know that we will NOT be retiring our faithful servant, St. Francis.  My mother gave me this statue in 1994, and he rode all the way to Texas with me from Kansas City.  Francis  has graced  various gardens in my yard ever since...he has been taped, patched and glued back together, and, still stands tall as ever, as our Holy Grounds Keeper!


Thank you so much for coming by.  If you're experiencing some treacherous weather, as is our good friend Thisisme in deep Devon, England, I hope all subsides quickly and without damage!

* And, I want to thank Shady Del Knight for so graciously bestowing and sharing his Liebster Award with me and, my commrade over at KardKornerKrib!

Other Gratitudes go out to:

My door is open, please step in and say hello...I always love to hear from you.  Even you shy ones!  Come on in and just say Hello, or BOO!

~ Our St. Francis among the daisies, iris, and lilies *
~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, Texas

"It is my hope that the inspiration of Saint Francis will help us to keep ever alive a sense of  'fraternity' with all those good and beautiful things which Almighty God has created."
~ Pope John Paul II, 1982

Happy February! Be Safe...give love and laughter! ♥


  1. Hi there Suzanne. Lovely to see you here and the photos of your Texas garden. I found that story about St Francis' connection with the nativity scene really interesting. I had never heard anything like that before. You certainly can't retire your very own Keeper of the Garden. He is much too precious for that! Whilst I'm over here, could you please tell Karo what a lovely surprise it was to see his comment over on my blog today. That really made my day! I'm pleased to say that the water has subsided just a little today, although the garden is still very much under water. The garage and greenhouse are flooded , but thankfully the house and my little caravan are safe. Phew ! Take care my friend and keep warm.

    1. Hi Thisisme. I had no idea that St. Francis created the first Nativity scene until I started reading about him. And, I am glad he did! We will keep our statue around as long as he will stay. I'm so glad your rain has lightened up...what a mess and a lot of water on your property! Good news that your retro caravan is okay.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Karo always enjoys hearing your news. Ah, Venice! Hey, I'd better get over there myself! We're trying to stay warm, it has been cold, but I do love it! And, you stay on high grounds, my friend. Hugs, see you soon!

  2. Forgot to say, I was so glad that Shadikins passed that Liebster Award on to you!

    1. Yes, Thisisme, Shady is a prize himself. He is so thoughtful, and I certainly enjoy his blog and friendship!

  3. Hello, dear Suzanne! I enjoyed your history lesson about St. Francis, how he gave up the trappings of wealth available to him, lived in poverty and preached on the streets. I was also fascinated to learn that he advocated a love of all God's creations, even going so far as to preach to birds. As for your holy grounds keeper, your St. Francis ornament, I am relieved to learn that you plan to keep him in place and not retire him from service, even though he's no doubt been "Scooterized" a few times in recent years. Shucks, we are all weather beaten by this time but I wouldn't wanted Mrs. Shady to put me out to pasture. :)

    We had two or three days of raw, cold, windy and rainy weather but the temperature's on the rise now and we always need the moisture around here during the dry season so it's all good.

    I read the comment by Thisikins and am happy to know her retro caravan, Sandy, did not float away like Noah's Ark. I also hope the worst of winter is behind you there in Fort Worth. We shall soon find out what the groundhog has to say about it.

    I'm glad you and Karo are proud to be the recipients of the Liebster. You are both award winning friends in my book! Enjoy your evening and your Sunday, dear friend Suzanne!

    1. Hi Shady, yes, I did hear that you Floridians were in the midst of a touch of winter-it's about time, eh?

      We all agree to keep our St. Francis at his post from here on out! I didn't have much knowledge of his history until I decided to look him up. And, I couldn't imagine that he had gone blind, his lifestyle of poverty did not contribute at all to his health and well being. But, we are grateful for him.

      I was afraid Thisisme might have to camp out in her caravan...but, that would be fun. I hope her grounds heals well after all that water.

      Thank you again for the awards to me and Karo. He's already embarrassed. But, I told him that maybe he could just get on his blog and answer a few of the questions. lol!

      I'm glad you stopped in and learned a little about St. Francis...yes, he has been 'Scooterized', but we're trying to channel him in other directions! Have a great weekend Shady, will see you soon! ♫

  4. Hi Suzanne,
    That was really good, gave me an idea! Can you make up a
    DVD of this, and I will use it in the month of October for
    our Senior program?. Am thinking, have just the priest in mind
    for this subject, Fr. Ernie Davis, he used to be a Anglican priest, now turned Catholic, and he still does a Anglican mass on the
    weekends, perhaps if I give him enough time, he would do it for me.
    Will have to find you another statue, mine like that one really
    fell apart, and the lady who I purchased them from passed away
    several years ago. She used to make an annual trip each year
    to parts of Mexico and bring back all these lovely artifacts, Leta and I loved to go into her stores and browse, but no more.
    Good job,

  5. I so agree with you not to retire the saint. He is one of my favorites. He keeps all your critters happy and loved in your garden.

    If all goes well, will follow your lead and show my very old St. Francis that I inherited from my momma. Love him!

  6. Hi Nancy, I do believe my St. Francis has done well in my yard. He's been all over and in the various gardens! I'm grateful I took the time to do some reading about him. We cannot part with him.

    Thank you for stopping in, I hope you and yours are doing well...I would love to see your St. Francis. Have a wonderful weekend! ♥

  7. Hi Suzanne, so glad your St Francis is to stay in his spot - no, didn't think you'd retire him ;D) He's done such a lovely job in your garden hasn't he.
    Love the background story of his life - I'd only known bits and pieces about him previously.
    Cheers now :D)

  8. Hi Susan, Yeah, I guess St. Francis is here to stay! Like you, I didn't know much of his background. He could have been a rich snob, but chose to live in poverty instead. And, he died young as a result of his poor diet and not taking care of himself.

    Well, I'm glad you're back and wandering around through blogland again. I've missed you, and look forward to seeing you again. ♥


What is your favorite flower today? Stop by and say hello!