The ‘new’ Francis has brought renewal, say followers of beloved saint

Each Oct. 3, on the eve of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, his followers around the world mark his “transitus,” or passing, from this world into eternal life. Sometimes there’s a re-enactment of the physical death of the popular saint and sometimes a habit is laid out on something that looks like a stretcher called a bier, reminding those present of Francis.