Francis and the Wolf (photo courtesy Mary Luti, 2013)














“Protected not by a shield or a helmet,
but arming himself with the Sign of the Cross,
Francis bravely went out of the town with his companion [to face the wolf],
putting all his faith in the Lord.” — Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio

Francis into danger come,
beast of burden perfect prey;
rage the wolves who circle round,
ravenous come winter.

hard the sky to see the stars,
past the bodies rendered heaven;
blood-soaked tracks lead out, away,
beyond walls that failed protect them.

thought to starve, to shut them out
yet somehow they ever-bolden;
“ours the kin we must defend;
theirs the kind that murders.”

left behind the sword, the shield,
took with him his own companion;
faced marauders unadorned,
cruciform they met them.

“We are all of one Creator,”
called to witnesses surrounding,
“worse to lose your soul than this;
turn, befriend your sister, brother!”

these remembered so of you,
simple man of God, unlettered;
enmity to amity,
teach us how to keep each other.


“companion” by William B Jones



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