For me personally, what makes Francis stand out from the thousands of other saints is not that he was a barefoot, self-impoverished saint, but that he was a merry saint.

His unquenchable joy was long a mystery to me since his life was anything but happy once God had touched him. . . . As I wrote of his infallible joyfulness, I was inspired to seek the same source of profound joy that Francis had discovered.

Edward Hays, Chasing Joy