Franciscan Saints
  Tau
 
 21st November

The Servant of God Rufinus of Assisi

 Confessor, First Order

Rufinus, a cousin of St. Clare, descended from a noble family was born in Assisi and became a follower of St Francis of Assisi in 1210, thus being one of the Poverello's early companions. He was a pure soul with the gift of prayer and contemplation of an extraordinary degree. When St Francis was ill Rufinus waited on the Saint with special affection and was thus one of the first to see the wounds of the Stigmata which the saint tried so carefully to conceal. Later Rufinus would often give testimony concerning the stigmata. Though he had a childlike simplicity, he, nevertheless experienced some of the severest struggles and temptations. One day he was filled with such great sadness because it seemed to him that he was rejected by God and destined to eternal damnation. To confound him further Satan appeared to him in the form of a crucifix and said to him:-

"Brother Rufinus, foolish man! Since you are not one of those who are predestined to eternal life, enjoy the pleasures of this world as long as you can. Do not afflict yourself with such severe penances. Above all have nothing to do with this madcap son of Pietro Bernadone, who is a greater son of iniquity than you are."(Habig 1959)

Rufinus was fearful and seized with even greater sadness yet did not speak to anyone, not even St Francis because deep within himself he had come to distrust the saint. St. Francis, enlightened by God knew what bothered the soul of his disciple and showed Rufinus how he had been deceived, he told him that if the devil ever appeared to him again he was to turn away in disgust remembering that the devil is the angel of darkness.

Satan again appeared to Rufinus in the form of a crucifix to reproach him for revealing all to that 'son of Bernadone' with holy indignation Rufinus promptly told the devil that he was the father of lies and should depart. Once the evil spirit left, so did all the temptation and dryness of spirit with which Rufinus had been afflicted. Serving God again with great joy, and greater confidence in St Francis than Rufinus had had before he lived on for about fifty years after the Saints death; going about the country giving eyewitness to the miracles and virtues of his Father in Faith Francis. His bones now rest in the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi with the remains of other early disciples of the Poverello have also been placed.    


Prayer of the church
(Over the People, Wednesday in Passion Week)

Give ear to our prayers, almighty God and on those to whom
Thou grantest confidence in Thy loving kindness, bestow also the
effects of Thy wonted mercies.
Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,One God, now and forever. Amen

Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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