Estate Of St. Francis Of Assisi Sends Out Cease And Desist Letters Regarding Famous Quote
St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most well known figures in religious history. Living in the 12th and 13th centuries, he was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher. He traveled many miles through many countries to share the good news with people of his own faith as well as those of other religions. He is revered by Catholics and even many Protestants. Francis was known for communicating not only to humans, but also had concern for nature as well, and was known to talk to the birds and other animals as he saw them as beautiful creations of God.
Throughout the years, as it happens, legends grow in regards to these old preachers. One of the most common misconceptions about Francis is a quote attributed to him. You've probably heard many preachers say this, or have seen memes with this quote... "Preach the Gospel at all times. And if necessary, use words."
The problem is, according to the trustees of his estate, "St. Francis never said it. Nor would he. He was a preacher. He used words to preach the Gospel... because that is the only way you can preach... you use words. The quote is a modern-day cop-out for people who are too ashamed of the Gospel, or scared to share it. That was not Francis. He would have never suggested that words are optional when preaching the Gospel."
So the estate of St. Francis of Assisi has sent out a cease and desist letter warning youth pastors and bloggers everywhere to not co-opt him to spread this false idea of evangelism. If people want to cut corners on evangelism or try to be clever, that is fine. But they can't use his name or likeness to do it.