St. Sylvester of Assisi
March 6d. 1240, buried in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Italy
Born to the nobility. One of the first 12 followers of St. Francis of Assisi, and first priest in the Franciscan Order. Sylvester once sold Francis stone to rebuild a church. A short while later, he saw Francis and Bernard of Quintavalle distributing Bernard's wealth to the poor. Sylvester complained that he had been poorly paid for the stone, and asked for more money. Francis obliged. But the handful of money soon filled Sylvester with guilt. He sold his possessions, began a life of penance, and joined Francis' community. A holy and prayerful man, Sylvester travelled with Francis, and became his advisor. It was Sylvester and Clare who answered Francis' query with the response that he should serve God by going out to preach rather than by devoting himself to prayer. In a city involved in a civil war, Francis ordered Sylvester to drive the devils out. At the city gate Sylvester cried out: "In the name of almighty God and by virtue of the command of his servant Francis, depart from here, all you evil spirits." Peace returned to the city.
Father God, through the intercession of the your humble servant, Sylvester of Assisi, may we draw closer to You.
In Jesus, Your Son. Amen.