Return to my Societe Pages index
Return to the Grouville Church index
(spotlight on narrator )
Welcome! I understand that you have come to learn a little about St Francis of Assisi.
Well, let us start with his early life (opens book), before he became so well-known.
(enter Pietro, carring a bundle of cloth, and some heavy money bags. He plonks this on the table, and starts to count the money.)
In 1182, Francis was born in Assisi, the son of Pietro di Bernadone; Pletro was a prosperous and wealthy cloth-merchant, and Francis grew to manhood accustomed to the enjoyment of wealth. He began to help his father in running the family business.
(enter Francis, in bright flamboyant clothes. He helps his father count the money)
With friends, he was full of charm and gaiety, popular, well-liked. He lived for adventure and romance, and dressed in bright, flamboyant clothes.
(military style drum roll)
When a call came to fight on the Pope's behalf in a war in Southern Italy, Francis seized the chance. What could be nobler than. to fight - against injustice - against tyranny - against heresy?
(Francis and Pietro pack up money into money bags, with some haste. )
So Francis decided to join the Pope's armies, a knight in armour, full of courage and valour, seeking to win glory in the mighty clash of arms.
(Pietro embraces Francis (Italian style 'hug'), and they pack up and leave together )
His family were full of pride in the brave young man, and looked forward to rejoice at his triumphant return; and so it was that, with a company of friends, Francis set off to fight for the Christian cause. All cheered as they left!
(cornet fanfare! Sound of clapping (& cheering) )
The party rested that evening at Spoleto, which is about thirty miles distant from Assisi.
(Note: when Pietro leaves, servants enter & swiftly carry off table. They are only seen very briefly, so can be revellers).
(slowly dim main lighting )
It was night, and Francis was drowsy, half-asleep, half-awake. Slowly, he became aware of a voice speaking to him, and he began to listen to it.
Francis, where are you going? Where are you going?
Francis (a voice in the darkness)
I am going to fight: to fight against our enemies. I am going to fight in the army which is commanded by Walter of Brienne - the noble lord under whom I serve.
I am your true Lord, Francis. He is just my servant. Come, fight for me instead!
Lord, I do not understand. What would you have me do?
Return to your own country and you will be told what to do.
(Francis to leave Church & go round to front entrance)
(slowly raise main lights )
(Narrator should talk slowly to allow Francis time to join revellers)
Francis lay awake the rest of the night, tormented by the decision to ride back to Assisi alone, to face the mockery of the crowd, to face the cry of cowardice. But when dawn came, he knew that he must obey, and returned.
His family blamed his return on illness, and time passed, and the incident was forgotten. Again Francis joined with vigour into parties, revels and festivities.
(Sudden loud music, drums! Enter Francis with revelling towsfolk, "making a joyful noise"! )
(After dancing some merry jigs, the procession moves off, leaving Francis behind, alone. He is in a stiff, rigid, trance-like state. )
(Unearthly music, Special lights on. Music stops (cue) )
All the things you used to love in the world, and wished to enjoy, you must now hate and despise if you wish to do My will. And those things that made you afraid will bring you My joy, and the love of Good Lady Poverty.
(Music plays, special lights off, normal lights on. A bell rings. Francis comes to, as if waking up. )
(The bell rings again. A white-faced leper comes into sight from the shadows, dressed in. rags, bent over, moving with a shuffling gait. )
(Bell rings (cue voice) )
(Francis shrinks back away from the leper in horror. The leper stretches our a white hand and Francis flinches away, to avoid the touch. )
Take pity! Take pity on one of God's poor!
(Francis loses his fear. He moves forward, slowly taking out his purse. He holds the leper's hand and places coins in it. Then (impulsively) moves forward and embraces the leper. )
(Song; Good Lady Poverty (2 soloists begin singing (consecutively), and the congregation join in the last verse. ))
(Francis moves off with leper (arm around his shoulder) )
(Francis to change clothes during song, & someone to place kneeler for Francis + San Damlano altar)
(Church bell rings cheerfully )
Welcome to the Church of San Damiano. It is, I am afraid, a rather poor Church, much in need of support. It is tended by an old priest, who is a good man, but rather elderly, and himself in need of a support! Francis began to come to this Church for quiet and prayer. Ah, here he is now.
(Francis enters, dressed in simple cloths, and kneels to pray. )
(Song: Jesus, Jesus ; Solo voice (quasi-Francis) begins to sing this song. )
(This then becomes a round for the congregation. )
(While the song (of Francis' prayer) is being sung, the priest goes to the altar and lights the candles. )
(The priest blesses Francis and leaves the Church. )
(The song finishes, and Francis is left, alone. He stands and looks towards the figure of Christ on the Crucifix. )
(Unearthly music plays. )
(light on cross )
(Music stops (cue) )
Francis, you can see that My church is falling down. Go and repair it.
(Lights back to normal. )
(Francis rises, bows to show his acceptance of the task, and leaves. )
Francis was astonished at this vision, and thought that the voice was talking about our little Church of San Damiano, which is very old and beginning to tumble down. So he went into the city to beg for money and for stone, and then he began to repair this Church.
At this time, the spire at Grouville Church was being rebuilt by Jersey Christians.
(Song; San Damiano (Congregation)
(While this song is taking place, the "Church" of San Damiano is being replaced by the Porziuncula. We hear a hammering sound in the background)
When Francis had finished rebuilding San Damiano, he saw that another Church was also neglected, and in need of attention, so he began to repair it. Because of its size; this is called the chapel of the little portion, or Porziuncula.
(Monk 1 enters with candles places them in position, and goes to sit down. )
This is his favourite Church, because of its simplicity and size; Francis saw it as a humble little Church, forgotten by most people, but perfect for quiet and prayer.
(Monk 2 enters with books places them in position, and goes to sit down. )
After a time, people were attracted to the simple way of life that Francis had chosen; and they joined Francis, sharing in his Holy Poverty, and helped him to rebuilt this small Church.
(Other 2 monks, closely followed by Francis and lesson reading monk, enter and move to sit down. )
Now the work is complete, and they have gathered here together with Francis to worship Our Lord, and to seek guidance as to what to do now.
(Monks take their places for the service.)
Let us join them at their little service.
(Song; Jubilate Deo Soloist for first verse, then all. )
(After the song, Francis moves in front of the monks, facing towards them and away from the congregation, his hands outstretched in prayer. )
FrancisLord, Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow your love; Where there is injury, your pardon. Lord; and where there's doubt, true faith in you.
(while Francis is talking, we hear the music of Prayer of St Francis in background, gently)
(After he has finished, Song; Make me a Channel Of Your Peace )
(As the song finishes, Francis is seated. A monk moves to the lectern, opens the Bible, and begins to read. Other monks sit. )
The reading is taken from the Gospel of Matthew:
Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness.
These twelve men were sent out with the following instructions:
(unearthly music, lights )
(spotlight on Francis )
"Go and preach, The Kingdom of God is at hand! Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely, you have received, so freely give."
"Do not carry any gold, silver or copper money in your pockets; do not carry a beggar's bag for the journey, or an extra shirt, or shoes, or a stick. I will supply your needs."
(Francis moves to altar hands raised in prayer )
When Francis heard these words of Jesus, he was filled with joy, for they spoke to him personally. He heard the Lord proclaim his task: not just to repair stone buildings, but to repair the living Church, which is built of people called by God.
(tune starts in background )
God was calling upon Francis to go out and live a life of humility, simplicity, poverty and prayer.
(Song; God's Spirit is in my Heart 1st 2 verses (all) )
(monks bow to altar and file out. )