Prayer of a Tertiary to Saint Francis

illustration of the patrons of Franciscan tertiaries, artist unknown, 1914O Seraphic Saint Francis, my beloved Father, protector of the poor, glorious patriarch of thy three great Orders, with tender love and veneration I kneel before thee and kiss the sacred stigmata with which our divine Savior adorned thee. I thank thee for having numbered me among thy children. This grace is so sublime, that I could never have merited it for myself; and it brings with it an endless chain of heaven’s choicest blessings. How shall I ever be able to show thee sufficient gratitude for all these favors?

O holy Father, help me ever to love the Third Order most tenderly. Let me consider it as my spiritual home and my paradise on earth, that I may, ever mindful of my holy profession, keep the commandments of God and the Church, and observe most faithfully even the smallest details of the Rule. For, only then shall I perceive the wholesome effects of the blessing which thou, in thy dying hour, didst impart to thy beloved children. Bless me, therefore, kind Father, bless thy unworthy child, that I may persevere in the conscientious observance of the Rule of the Third Order until the end of my life. Amen.