“The holy words were, for Francis, tangible, actual and life-giving signs of the real Presence of Christ, as the Eucharistic Bread and Wine are. For him, the Word, like the Eucharist, was a prolongation of the Incarnation. In the Word, as in the Eucharist, God reveals Himself and acts. The Word, like the Eucharist, brings us close to the heart of God and saves us. To receive the Word is to receive Life, to reject the Word is to reject Life which is also offered to us, above all, in the Eucharist. Even we, used to reading this truth in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, are surprised by such comparison. For Francis it was a proof of faith: ‘And let all of us know for certain that no one can be saved except through the holy words and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which the clergy pronounce, proclaim and minister.’"
"This faith in the real presence of Christ in His word is what explains Francis’ profound veneration of the word: ‘I, therefore, admonish all my brothers and encourage them in Christ to venerate, as best they can, the divine written words wherever they find them. If they are not well kept or are carelessly thrown around in some place, let them gather them up and preserve them, inasmuch as it concerns them, honouring in the words the Lord Who spoke them.’ And he himself did what he asked on the friars, as Br. Leo noted in his own handwriting in the breviary which is preserved in the Proto-monastery of St. Clare in Assisi: ‘Having heard or read the Gospel, blessed Francis always kissed the Gospel with the greatest reverence for the Lord.’ And we see no sign of fundamentalism or of integralism in this attitude of profound veneration of the sacred text. It was an external expression of a profoundly believing attitude before the word of God.”