Image of Francis fiddling with sticks


Fiddling Francis edited

Our Fraternity name, Il Poverello, means “little poor one.” So why do we use a drawing of Francis fiddling as our symbol? Well, even in his poverty Francis had the ability to find joy in the simplest things. Below is an artwork by Dr. Jyoti Sahi, and a wonderful reflection on Francis and his joyful fiddling!





Francis-of-Assisi Jyofi
“Francis Fiddling” by Dr. Jyoti Sahi. Notice the Asian features of Francis’ face!

Compassion, Karuna, is a wisdom that has an insight into the unity of all things. This wisdom enlightens those who are willing to see, or discover this unity. The gesture, or Mudra, of giving, is the hand that reaches down to touch the earth, and in return the earth itself acknowledges that this Wisdom unites all beings. We may discover this Wisdom in the vision of the Lord Buddha, or nearer our own times, in the poetic understanding of St. Francis of Assisi, who in his Canticle of All Creatures, sees that there is a love or bond between all natural elements; between fire and water, earth and air, sun and moon. Singing of this unity it is said that he picked up two sticks which he found in a small wood where he was living as a wandering friar. He did not possess a musical instrument, but with the two pieces of wood he pretended that he was playing an instrument by rubbing them together, as if to create a sound. Then suddenly as he was dancing and singing, he thought of the Cross, as a musical instrument, on whose vertical and horizontal beams the music of the Universe was played. Thinking of this he began to shed tears.