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Franciscan Mantras
During the more than a quarter of a century that we have been bringing pilgrims to Assisi, we have often wondered why literally millions of people travel to this seemingly insignificant city in central Italy. Most people are aware of Saint Francis and some of Saint Clare, and perhaps that their tombs are located within Assisi’s ancient city walls. But more important than just a visit to their burial sanctuaries, we have consistently seen pilgrims become excited when they are exposed to the spirituality of these two saints who had a burning love for God, for Jesus Christ. Their spirituality—what we today call Franciscan spirituality—is predominantly an affective spirituality, a spirituality of the heart, a spirituality that is primarily experiential. And the idea came to us to share some kernels of their affective spirituality from their actual writings, composing mantras in the hope that rhythmic, repetitive singing would enable each one of us to experience the burning love they had for God, for Jesus Christ. For this reason, we have chosen to present several texts in their original languages of composition: Latin, Italian, and Umbrian dialect, the language of Francis and Clare. Both of them have left a significant collection of writings from which this compilation of mantras has emerged. These mantras were composed to celebrate the wisdom of their spirituality.

These beautiful mantras taken from the words of Saints Francis and Clare are designed for:

- personal, individual prayer leading one to contemplation;
- small community groups, prayer groups, retreats, and to enhance communal prayer;
- public liturgy where hymns and responsorial antiphons are used.

The repetitive nature of each mantra facilitates communal singing. The mantras even lighten ordinary housework and driving through heavy traffic!

“Gospel realities can penetrate you through simple
chants, sung over and over again: ‘Jesus, your light is
shining within us; let my heart always welcome your
love.’ When you work, when you rest, these realities
keep echoing within you. Sometimes prayer is an
inner struggle, and sometimes it means surrendering
one’s whole being. At a given moment, it becomes
simply resting in God in silence. That is perhaps one
of the high points of prayer.”

Brother Roger of Taizé



Sample the songs


Twenty-six mantras taken directly from the writings of Saints Francis and Clare on two CDs, background information on Francis and Clare,
and a 16 page booklet explaining each chant.

Music by Josef Raischl, SFO,
Konrad Raischl and David Dargie.
Translations and comments by
Sr. Frances Teresa Downing, OSC,
and Murray Bodo, OFM