The Diaconate Obscured

Throughout the Middle Ages, the diaconate remained obscured as a transitional step to priesthood. The sense of diakonia (service) also slipped away, to emerge only in the charism of some of the religious orders that proliferated in those years. The most notable exception and symbol of diakonia during the Middle Ages was through "everybody's favorite saint," Francis of Assisi, who remained a deacon during his life as a friar. Communities that eventually adopted Francis' charism dedicated their ministries particularly to the needs of the poor and marginalized.

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