Our Patron Saint
St. Francis of Assisi
Lived: St. Francis was born in Assisi, Umbria, Italy, in 1181, and died in 1226.
Patron Saint of: The environment, animals, and birds because of the respect he gave to all God’s creatures.
The Story of Saint Francis of Assisi:
Francis Bernardone was born the son of Pietro di Bernardone, a rich cloth merchant in Assisi in Italy. He led a wealthy and privileged life, wearing clothes made of the best materials and was well educated. With a future guaranteed in his father’s business some of his youth was mis-spent. His experiences as a soldier, during which time he was a prisoner of war, led him to a more sombre and religious life. He undertook a pilgrimage to Rome and returned to Assisi following spiritual visions and mystical experiences. He decided to devote his life to the Christian faith and renounced all of his wealth preferring to lead a life of poverty. His evangelical preaching inspired others to follow him and in 1209 Francis and his first followers went to Rome to ask permission from Pope Innocent III to found a new religious order. The pope agreed and Francis d’Assisi became the founder of the Franciscan Order of Preaching Friars. He was said to have preached to birds and animals which explains his association with nature and all of God’s creatures.
Saint Fun Facts:
Saint Francis of Assisi was a wealthy young man of privilege, served as a soldier and was a prisoner of war. He heard God’s call and went on to be one of the most venerated Catholic saints. He designed the first living Nativity set and was the first man ever recorded to receive the Stigmata, the wounds of Christ.