‘Sequela Christi’ translates into: following Christ.
St. Francis was a great lover and imitator of Christ (Imitatio Christi), conforming to Him not only inwardly but also outwardly (by receiving the Stigmata). This is an annual pilgrimage where members of the Fraternitas – Franciscan Young Adults (FYA) embark on a spiritual journey to receive the Child Jesus in a special way over Christmas in Franciscan Italy.
There, they follow in the footsteps of St Francis and the other Franciscan saints who have gone before us, and find the same humility and joy of the Gospel that he was deeply conformed to.
This video is brought to you by Fraternitas – Franciscan Young Adults(FYA).
FYA is a fraternity of Catholic young adults based in Singapore and led by the Franciscan Friars. FYA meets every Monday 8pm for Lectio Divina, every first Monday of the month for Franciscan Book Club, and every few months they host speakers from around the world in conversation on topics related to Franciscan Spirituality – from social justice to social media, from aesthetics to contemplation.
It may seem contradictory that receiving the gift of the stigmata would be called love. After all, receiving the stigmata would mean enduring the painful wounds that Christ Himself experienced when He suffered His passion and death. How then can it be called love and a gift?
From the moment Adam and Eve fell, God has been calling us back to Him. In Jesus Christ, the Father’s loving face was revealed to us, enabling us to be adopted as God’s beloved children.
When Christ went through His passion and death, He held nothing back from us. Christ yearned to be united with us in all ways, so He emptied Himself to be born a man and even more, to die on the Cross.
So, we believe sin, evil and death no longer have power over us. God has overcome them for us. Therefore, the mystery of the Cross and the wounds of Christ are the “Gift of Love” for our humanity and salvation.
As we undergo our trials in life, we ought to reunite with Christ. We do not need to fear the crosses in our lives because Christ carries them with us. This closeness to Jesus is His gift of love and it assures us of victory.
In Francis, God found someone who loved Him for Himself. In Francis, God found someone who knew what it meant to love truly. In Francis, we have an example of what it means to be a Christian. Therefore, it has pleased God to bestow upon Francis the “Wounds of His love”.
May we follow the example of Francis and may our hearts burn with love for Christ and His people.
On 8 October, the Church of St Mary of the Angels will reverberate with song as youth and the young at heart lift their voices in praise of God. Featuring a number of youth praise and worship bands and Friar Derrick Yap OFM singing with Mystic Font, the inaugural Festival of Praise will hopefully be an annual event on the Saturday following the feast of St Francis.
This concert will be a celebration of the gift of St Francis and his spirituality for a contemporary church. It is a time to come together after isolating for the last two years, and what better way than to gather to lift our voices in praise of God for the gift of faith and of Fraternity!
This event is the first presented by Fraternitas, a ministry of the Franciscan Friars to youth and young adults. Fraternitas aims to bring together creative talents from around the Singapore Catholic Church to share and celebrate as one Church. With the concert, Fraternitas hopes to encourage youth bands from around the country to gather in song and music to celebrate what it means to be Church in Singapore.
To compliment the evening of song and music, volunteers from the parish of St Mary of the Angels will hold a food fair pre- and post-concert. The food fair will begin at 5pm.
At this event, Fraternitas will also launch “Canticle”, another community under its wings. Through Canticle, Fraternitas hopes to invite young creatives – musicians, composers, singers, dancers, poets, painters and more – to form a fraternity to journey together in faith,celebrating the gift of their talents.
A series of workshops and retreats is planned for this fraternity in 2023, and from this may spring forth new acts and items for Festival of Praise 2023.