The disputes between the Franciscans and Dominicans had become so intense at one point in history that the Pope had to intervene in their conflict.
But it wasn’t so in the beginning with their founders.
There are many stories told of the founder of the Franciscans and some are contained in a little book called ‘The Flowers of Saint Francis’.
This is my favorite:
A large crowd had gathered to hear Saint Anthony preach, who was by now called the ‘Golden Tongue of God’, and a young man stepped forward and queried, “Good preacher, I desire to become a mendicant and do not know whether to follow Francis or Dominic. What is the summation of your theology to that of Dominic’s?”
Saint Anthony replied, “Son, the whole of the theology of Francis can be summed up in three words, “God is Love”. If you want to learn how to preach, go to Dominic. If you want to learn how to love, follow Francis.”
The beautiful statue of Saint Anthony in the photo captures the moment the Child Jesus is flying into his arms. It was sculpted by Italian artist, Sandro da Verscio, for the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi and is found on the right front side altar.