Thoughts of Abbot Francis

by Abbot Francis Pfanner

“How many of us ask themselves in their daily examination of conscience: Did I earn my food today?…Was my work worth even a watery soup?”

“In order to get entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem, this city of Mary, a gracious smile of Our Lady in the decisive hour is sufficient when we depart from life.”[12]

In The Spirit of the Founder, p. 173.

“Within his wonderful heart (Christ’s) there are remedies to heal all our weaknesses and ailments, just as in a pharmacy medicines, marvellous ointments and plasters are available.”


“I am doing this after long and careful consideration; my thinking is completely rational…I do not seek to become rich, I do not want any high office. I do not want to become famous in this world. I would rather be poor and live totally unknown in a remote monastery somewhere, hopefully for the rest of my life, if they have need of me…”
1864 First vows a year later, on 21 November.


“Silence and effort were not sufficient to raise the obelisk. Water on the ropes was also needed. We alone, with all our efforts, cannot raise the stone, if the waters of divine grace do not moisten the dry soil, move and strengthen it. Therefore, once again: ‘Lont nit lug!’ (Don’t give up!) and ‘Aqua alle corde! (Water on the ropes!)’”

“If no one will go, I will go.”

“Our mission field is part of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and it has no boundaries.”

“If cats and dogs can live together, why not white and black children? We have tried it and it works.”

“Today is the feast of the ‘Finding of the Cross.’ I also have found a particle of the cross. I will embrace and kiss it and allow myself to be drawn up by it to the Father in heaven.”

“Silence is conducive to turning inward…and more surely and easily teaches one to see into the inner-self and to raise one’s heart and mind to God.”

“God wills that a fire be enkindled here and everywhere. But numbers alone will not set it ablaze. Each one of us…must be a good torch or good fuel, so that the flame may soar and the fire may spread rapidly and forcefully.”

“It is a pity that I am no longer thirty years of age. If I were, I would go before you everywhere seeking new places and starting new mission stations.”

“The shout of joy: ‘Christ is risen!’ informs me and assures me that the promises of theeight Beatitudes will be fulfilled.”

– Abbot Francis Pfanner 1825 – 1909