I think of the saying attributed to St. Francis of Assisi quite often, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” In fact, Actions Speak Louder is based on this premise, which is pretty silly since it’s a blog and I’m writing words instead of out taking action. But I digress. I went on the interwebs a bit to see if I could find out a little more information about this oft-used quotation and was dismayed to find the answer to this here:
Where Did St. Francis Say That?
Q: I keep seeing St. Francis of Assisi credited as saying, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” I have looked in several places but cannot find where St. Francis said this.
A: This is a great quote, very Franciscan in its spirit, but not literally from St. Francis. The thought is his; this catchy phrasing is not in his writings or in the earliest biographies about him.
In Chapter XVII of his Rule of 1221, Francis told the friars not to preach unless they had received the proper permission to do so. Then he added, “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.”
Well, needless to say, I was a little saddened to read that since I believe everything that I find online and never try to verify anything. If you want to read more, just click on this.
And, if you need to find me, I’ll be out milking my beer-cow.