I love St. Francis. Who doesn't? My mother was a secular Franciscan and there were always pictures/statuettes of St. Francis around our home.
My son Jim was due to be born on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, but he came a day early. Later he chose St. Francis as his Confirmation saint.
So today at Mass I was happy to hear my pastor, Father Ed Fride, speak extensively about St. Francis in his homily.
He said that that oft repeated quote about preaching the Gospel and use words if necessary was not really said by St. Francis. Rather St. Francis advised people to preach the Gospel with their lives and use words when you have permission from the bishop. It was something to that effect. Quite a different directive, I would say. Father Ed pointed out that St. Francis was never hesitant about preaching the Gospel with words himself. In fact, he would preach to the birds when no one else was around. This link from St. Anthony's Messenger at Americancatholic.org covers thoroughly the history of the misquote.
Love my pastor Father Ed. Happy Feast of St. Francis.