Who Is Saint Francis

Saint Francis of Assisi

The legend has it that Saint Francis of Assisi left a life of luxury for a life dedicated to Christianity after he claimed to have heard the voice of God, who instructed him to rebuild the Christian church and live in abject poverty. He is revered as the patron saint of environmentalists.

Who Was Saint Francis of Assisi?

Saint Francis of Assisi, who was born in Italy about 1181, was well-known for his penchant for drinking and partying throughout his adolescence. As a result of his participation in a war between Assisi and Perugia, Francis was taken and held captive for ransom. He was imprisoned for about a year while awaiting payment from his father, during which time, according to mythology, he began seeing visions from God. Following his release from jail, Francis was visited by the voice of Christ, who instructed him to reconstruct the Christian Church and live a life of frugality.

Thestigmata of Christ – markings that resemble the wounds Jesus Christ sustained while on the cross — were said to have been bestowed to Francis later in life, making him the first person to be endowed with such sanctifying wounds.

Over the course of his life, he also acquired a profound love for nature and animals, and he is today renowned as the patron saint of the environment and animals; his life and words have had a long-lasting impact on millions of followers around the world.

Early Life of Luxury

Saint Francis of Assisi was born about 1181 in Assisi, Duchy of Spoleto, Italy, and, despite his widespread veneration today, he began his life as a confessed sinner. His father was a wealthy textile trader who owned acreage in the area around Assisi, and his mother was a lovely Frenchwoman who lived in the same house as his father. While in his youth, Francis was not in want; rather, he was spoilt, indulging himself with high-quality cuisine, exquisite wine, and extravagant parties. By the age of 14, he had dropped out of school and gained a reputation as a troubled adolescent who regularly drank, partied, and violated the municipal curfew.

Francis of Assisi gained the talents of archery, wrestling, and riding while growing up in such a rich environment.

He stopped thinking about a future as a merchant and instead began daydreaming about his potential future as a knight; knights were Medieval action heroes, and if Francis had any desire, it was to be a war hero like them.

Not long after that, the opportunity for combat would present itself. When a battle broke out between Assisi and Perugia in 1202, Francis jumped at the chance to serve with the cavalry. He had no idea at the time how his involvement in the war would alter his life for the rest of his life.

War and Imprisonment

It was an all-out assault on Francis and his men, who, faced with overwhelming numbers, were forced to flee. After a short while, the entire battlefield was covered with the bodies of massacred and mangled soldiers who were screaming in pain. The majority of the Assisi troops who survived were executed on the same day. Francis was caught by opposing forces rather fast since he lacked military experience and was unskilled. Because he was dressed in the manner of an aristocrat and wearing fine new armor, the soldiers determined that he was worth a reasonable ransom and opted to spare his life.

Francis would be forced to live in such deplorable circumstances for about a year while waiting for his father’s payment, during which time he may very easily have caught a deadly sickness.

After the War

Francis’ ransom was accepted after a year of talks, and he was freed from jail in 1203. Francis, on the other hand, was a quite different person when he returned to Assisi. On his return, he was in grave risk of being mentally and physically ill. He had become a battle-fatigued war victim. Francis, according to tradition, came across a leper one day while riding his horse through the countryside near where he lived. Prior to the war, Francis would have fled away from the leper, but on this particular occasion, he acted in a far different manner than usual.

  • He subsequently described the event as “a sensation of sweetness” in his mouth after kissing the leprosy.
  • His previous way of life had lost all of its attractiveness to him.
  • As opposed to working, he began to spend an increasing amount of time in a distant mountain retreat as well as in ancient, silent churches in the Assisi area praying, seeking answers, and assisting in the care of sick people.
  • The Voice of Christ purportedly instructed Francis to restore the Christian Church and to live a life of severe poverty.
  • He began preaching in the vicinity of Assisi and was quickly joined by a group of 12 devoted disciples.

In either case, Francis of Assisi swiftly gained notoriety across the Christian world, whether he was truly touched by God or was merely a man who misinterpreted hallucinations brought on by mental illness and/or bad health at the time.

Devotion to Christianity

Immediately following his conversion experience at the church of San Damiano, Francis had another life-altering encounter that would forever change him. In order to gather funds for the reconstruction of the Christian church, he sold a bolt of cloth from his father’s store, as well as his horse, to earn money. When his father found out about his son’s deeds, he grew enraged and took him before the local bishop, where he was sentenced to prison. His reaction was exceptional when he was told by the bishop that he needed to return his father’s money.

  1. According to tradition, this encounter marked Francis’ ultimate conversion, and there is no evidence that he or his father ever spoke to one other again after this point.
  2. Unfortunately for him, the first persons he saw on the route were a gang of dangerous robbers who brutally beat him up before fleeing.
  3. From this point forward, he would live his life in accordance with the Gospel.
  4. Francis and many others were concerned that the long-held apostolic values had been undermined since the Christian church was extremely wealthy, much like the individuals who led it.
  5. Francis embarked on a quest to restore Jesus Christ’s own, original principles to the church, which had become degenerate.
  6. They listened to Francis’ teachings and adopted his way of life; as a result, Francis’ followers were known as Franciscan friars.
  7. He even went so far as to preach to animals, which drew the ire of some and gave him the moniker “God’s idiot” as a result.
  8. A vision, according to legend, occurred in 1224, leaving Francis with the stigmata of Christ — markings that resemble the wounds Jesus Christ experienced when he was crucified, which were visible through his hands and a gaping lance hole in his side — on his body.

They would be visible to him for the remainder of his natural life. A number of people feel that the wounds were actually signs of leprosy, maybe as a result of his previous experience treating patients with the disease.

Why Is Saint Francis the Patron Saint of Animals?

Today, Saint Francis of Assisi is known as the patron saint of ecologists, a designation that honors his unwavering devotion to animals and the natural world.

Death and Legacy

As Francis neared death, many prophesied that he would be canonized and become a saint in the making. Francis returned to his hometown as his health began to deteriorate more rapidly. Knights from Assisi were dispatched to protect him and ensure that no one from the surrounding towns attempted to kidnap or steal him (the body of a saint was viewed, at the time, as an extremely valuable relic that would bring, among many things, glory to the town where it rested). Francis of Assisi died on October 3, 1226, in the Italian city of Assisi, at the age of 44.

On July 16, 1228, Pope Gregory IX, who had previously served as his protector, canonized him as a saint, less than two years after his death.

Following the death of Saint Francis in 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio made the decision to commemorate him by adopting his name and becoming Pope Francis.

Saint Francis of Assisi

The Life and Times of Saint Francis of Assisi Pope Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who amazed and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following everything that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance. He is the patron saint of Italy and the patron saint of all Christians. A serious sickness forced the young Francis to face the emptiness of his frolicking life as the head of Assisi’s youth, something he had previously ignored.

  1. “Francis!” he exclaimed, symbolizing his entire submission to what he had heard in prayer: Unless you seek to know my will, it is your responsibility to dislike and reject everything you have ever loved and sought in the flesh.
  2. “My house is on the verge of coming down,” Christ said.
  3. He must have guessed that the phrase “build up my dwelling” had a deeper connotation.
  4. He renounced everything of his assets, including his clothing, in front of his earthly father, who was seeking repayment for Francis’ “gifts” to the poor.
  5. For a time, he was seen as a religious fanatic, begging from door to door when he was unable to earn enough money for his job, eliciting feelings of grief or contempt in the hearts of his former companions, as well as scorn from the undiscerning.
  6. It wasn’t long before a few people realized that this man was truly attempting to be a Christian.
  7. “Do not carry any gold, silver, or copper in your purses, and do not go with any luggage, sandals, or a staff” (Luke 9:1-3).

During a period when different reform groups threatened to undermine the Church’s unity, his commitment and allegiance to the Church were unequivocal and extremely exemplary.

His decision was in favor of the latter, yet he always sought isolation when he had the opportunity.

During the Fifth Crusade, he made an unsuccessful attempt to convert the sultan of Egypt.

Two years before his death, he was afflicted with the stigmata, which are the genuine and excruciating wounds of Christ that were inflicted on his hands, feet, and side.

At the conclusion of the song, he requested permission from his superior to have his garments removed when the hour of death arrived, so that he may die laying nude on the ground, in imitation of his Lord, as he had done before.

He perceived the beauty of God’s creation as yet another evidence of God’s beauty.

He performed immense penance, subsequently apologizing to “Brother Body,” so that he may be completely disciplined for the will of God, which he did later in life.

Nevertheless, all of this was, in a sense, a prelude to the core of his spirituality: living the gospel life, which is summed up in the kindness of Jesus and properly represented in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

It is Saint Francis of Assisi who is the patron saint of the following:Animals Archaeologists Ecology ItalyMerchants Messengers Workers in the Metal Industry

Click here for more on Saint Francis!

History, biographies, and the Middle Ages for children

  • He was a Catholic friar who was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182 and died in Assisi, Italy in 1226. He is most well-known for his work in founding the Franciscan Order.
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St. Francis of Assisi was a Catholic Franciscan who chose to live a life of poverty rather than enjoy a life of luxury. He founded the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor and the Poor Ladies’ Order of Poor Ladies, both of which are still in existence today. Saint Francis of Assisi is a saint from the Italian town of Assisi. Jusepe de Ribera is the author of this piece. Infancy and Adolescence Francis was born in the Italian town of Assisi in 1182. As the son of a wealthy textile trader, he grew up in a privileged environment and enjoyed a good education.

  1. His father wished for him to pursue a career in business and educated him on the French way of life.
  2. Francis was apprehended and put into custody.
  3. Visions from the Almighty Francis continued to have visions from God throughout the following three years, which profoundly influenced his life.
  4. At first, he believed that God had called him to fight in the Crusades, but he was mistaken.
  5. Finally, while praying in a church, Francis received a message from God, telling him to “fix my church, which is in shambles.” Francis bequeathed all of his wealth to the church.
  6. Francis subsequently left his father’s home and vowed to live in poverty for the rest of his life.
  7. The more Francis lived a life of poverty and taught to the people about the life of Jesus Christ, the more people began to flock to him and emulate his example.

He had one fundamental rule, which was “to follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps.” He also had a few other rules, but these were the most important.

He and his disciples headed to Rome in order to obtain the sanction of the Pope for the establishment of their religious Order.

These folks were filthy, impoverished, and reeked of rotting flesh.

Orders from Other Sources The Franciscan Order flourished as more and more men joined and took poverty vows.

As well as the Franciscan Organization, he founded another order (later known as the Third Order of Saint Francis) for men and women who did not take vows or abandon their employment, but who instead carried out the principles of the Franciscan Order in their daily lives.

Francis was well-known for his admiration of the outdoors and animals.

It is stated that he was chatting to some birds one day when they began to sing in unison as if they had heard him.

Francis was also rumored to have the ability to tame wild creatures.

The residents of the community were alarmed and unsure of what to do in the situation.

The wolf initially snarled at Francis and appeared to be preparing to attack him.

The wolf eventually grew tame, and the village was no longer in danger.

In 1226, he passed away while singing Psalm 141. His canonization as a saint by the Catholic Church came barely two years after his death. Here are some interesting facts about Saint Francis of Assisi.

  • The feast day of Saint Francis is celebrated on October 4th
  • It is stated that he suffered the stigmata two years before he died on this day. In 1220, Francis set up the first known Nativity scene to celebrate Christmas, which depicted Christ’s wounds from the cross, including his hands, feet, and side
  • Francis traveled to the Holy Lands during the Crusade, hoping to conquer the Muslims through love rather than war
  • Francis believed that actions were the best example, telling his followers to “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.”
  • Francis traveled to the Holy Lands during the Crusade, hoping to conquer the Muslims through
  • Activities
  • Listen to an audio recording of this page being read: The audio element cannot be played because your browser does not support it. More topics related to the Middle Ages include: BibliographyHistoryBiographiesWorks Cited The Middle Ages for Children

St. Francis of Assisi – Saints & Angels

He was born in Assisi, Umbria, in 1181 and is considered the founder of the Franciscan Order. When Pietro Bernardone returned from a journey to France in 1182, he was surprised to discover that his wife had given birth to a son. Pietro was unhappy with his wife because she had named their infant kid Giovanni after John the Baptist, rather than being happy or regretful about his absence. It was the last thing Pietro wanted in his son: a man of God. Instead, he desired a man of business, someone who would follow in his father’s footsteps as a textile trader, and someone who would share his passion for France.

  1. Francis was adored by everybody – and I mean all – from the beginning of his life.
  2. If he was choosy, people were willing to overlook it.
  3. If he was such a big dreamer that he did poorly in school, no one seemed to worry.
  4. No one attempted to exert control over him or teach him anything.

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  2. Help Now After growing up, Francis rose to the position of leader of a group of young people who spent their evenings at crazy parties.
  3. During that period, Francis himself admitted that “I lived in sin.” Francis met and exceeded all of Pietro’s expectations, even falling in love with France.
  4. And, despite his fondness for fantasy, Francis was also a skilled businessman.
  5. more important than material prosperity But not in the case of holiness!
  6. He believed that battle was the most effective way to achieve the honor and distinction he desired.
  7. The battle resulted in the slaughter of the majority of Assisi’s forces.

Francis was now able to live among the nobles, as he had always desired.

According to all reports, he never lost his cheerful demeanor even in that dreadful location.

Strangely enough, the encounter didn’t appear to have any effect on him.

The encounter had no effect on what he desired from life: fame and fortune.

Prior to departing, Francis needed to acquire a set of armor and a horse, which was not a problem for the son of a wealthy father.

Any sense of comfort we might have had upon hearing that Francis had given the cloak to a poor knight will be shattered by the claims that Francis left behind, claiming that he will return with a prince in his place.

He had a dream in which God warned him that he had made a mistake and that he should return to his hometown.

When the youngster who wanted nothing more than to be loved returned without ever making it to fight, he was embarrassed, laughed at, and branded a coward by his community, and his father was furious at him for wasting money on armor.

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In the intervening twenty-five years, God had waited for him, and now it was Francis’ turn to wait.

He walked to a cave and sobbed his heart out for his crimes.

But life couldn’t suddenly come to a halt for God.

A leper came face to face with Francis one day while riding through the countryside.

Francis was repulsed by the look and stench of the leper, yet he nonetheless hopped down from his horse and kissed the leprosy’s hand.

As he rode away, he turned around to give the leper one more wave, only to discover that the leprosy had vanished.

As a result of his desire for conversion, he came to the old church of San Damiano.

He grabbed fabric from his father’s store and sold it to raise money to repair the church, which he did in his characteristically impulsive manner.

After dragging Francis before the bishop and in front of the entire town, Pietro demanded that Francis return the money and relinquish all rights as his heir.

Thebishopwas quite gracious to Francis; he instructed him to return the money and assured him that God would supply.

He not only returned the money, but he also took off all of his clothes – including the things his father had given him – until he was only wearing a hair shirt and nothing else.

From this point on, I will be able to say, “Our Father who art in heaven,” without reservation.” He ventured out into the frigid woods, clad only in discarded clothes, and sang his heart out.

In the end, when robbers beat him up and stole his clothing from him, he clambered out of the ditch and started singing his heart out again. Francis was left with nothing and everything from that point on.

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  2. Help Now Francis returned to the path he believed to be God’s calling.
  3. Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the within, while heresies on the outside thrived by appealing to individuals who were looking for something new or more daring than what the Church had to offer.
  4. (Despite his protests, he was eventually elevated to the rank of deacon, albeit he was never consecrated as a priest).
  5. Francis must have been aware of the degradation in the Church, yet he treated the Church and its members with the highest reverence throughout his life.
  6. Slowly, Francis’s associates began to arrive, individuals who want to follow in his footsteps of sleeping in the open, asking for food from garbage cans, and adoring God.
  7. He read the mandate to the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the needy, the order to the apostles to take nothing with them on their journey, and the demand that they take up the cross on a daily basis, among other things.

He was going to do something that no one thought was possible any longer: he was going to live his life according to the Gospel.

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Francis was never interested in establishing a religious order since, to this former knight, the idea seemed too militaristic.

They came from all walks of life, from fields and cities, aristocracy and commoners, colleges and the Church, as well as merchants from all classes and social classes.

Pope Francis considered all of God’s creation to be members of his brotherhood.

When someone spends their spare time in the woods or takes pleasure in its beauty, we refer to them as a nature lover.

The sparrow was just as much a brother to him as the Pope was.

According to the tale, the birds remained still while he strolled among them, only flying away when he instructed them to do so.

Francis was present when the villagers attempted to kill the wolf and persuaded the wolf to refrain from killing anybody else.

Francis and his friends walked out to preach two by two, literally following the Gospel’s instructions.

People even ran away from them for fear of contracting this odd craziness themselves!

Because shortly after, these same individuals noted that these barefoot beggars carrying bags appeared to be bursting with perpetual happiness.

And individuals had to question themselves: Is it possible to possess nothing and be content with one’s life?

Francis did not seek to eradicate poverty; rather, he sought to elevate it to a sacred status.

They labored to provide for all of their needs and only begged when absolutely necessary.

It was his instruction that they should regard monies as though they were stones in the path.

Also, Francis reasoned, what could you possibly do to a man who possessed no property?

They were completely at liberty.

His simplicity of living extended to his thoughts and acts as well.

As a result, when Pope Francis sought approval for his fraternity, he traveled directly to Rome to visit Pope Innocent III.

You can only imagine his reaction.

Nevertheless, when Francis appeared in a dream, he promptly summoned him back and granted him permission to preach in the Lateran basilica, which was tilting at the time of the dream.

He once instructed a brother who was hesitant to speak because he stammered to go preach half-naked in front of the congregation.

Frances reacted swiftly because he was acting from the heart; he didn’t have time to put on a performance.

As soon as the mule’s owner recognized Francis, he told him, “Try to be as virtuous as everyone believes you are since many people have a great deal of faith in you.” Francis got off the mule and knelt in front of the guy to express his gratitude for his advise.

Amidst an intense conflict, Francis made the decision to do the easiest thing possible and walk directly to the sultan to seek peace.

As an alternative, Francis was escorted to the Sultan, who was enchanted by Francis and his preaching and invited him to stay.

When he returned to Italy, he found a fraternity that had expanded from 5000 members in ten years to a total of 5000 members.

People thought his goal of extreme poverty was too harsh and he should reconsider.

He ultimately relinquished control in his order – but he didn’t seem to be very angry about it.

Francis’ final years were fraught with pain and humiliation, and he died in the process.

Francis had become unwell as a result of years of poverty and travelling.

This necessitated the use of a hot iron to cauterize his face.

Please be courteous to me now, at this hour, because I have always admired you, and keep your heat to a minimum so that I can tolerate it.” Francis further mentioned that Brother Fire had been so considerate that he had no negative emotions at all.

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His beautifulCanticleof the Sun, in which he emphasizes his kinship with the creation while thanking God, was written at that time.

Despite his efforts, Francis was unable to recover from his condition. He died on October 4, 1226, when he was 45 years old. In addition to being the founder of all Franciscan orders, Francis is also revered as the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.

Francis of Assisi

Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! In the name of all of your creatures, particularly Sir Brother Sun, who is the day and through whom You provide us with light, praise be unto You, my Lord.” To think properly about Francis of Assisi is tough at the best of times. The gentle saint who preached to birds, tamed wolves, and padded about in flower-filled meadows, soaking in the love of God, is the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of St.

However, it is impossible to fathom how such a kind individual could have the ability to turn thirteenth-century Europe on its head.

If it’s even near to the truth, it becomes a little clearer as to why he had such an impact on his generation and every one that followed.

From hermit to itinerant

Giovanni Francesco Bernardone was given the name Giovanni Francesco Bernardone when he was born in Assisi, Italy, the son of a rich merchant. Francis was a worldly, carefree young guy when he was younger. According to an early biographer, “In the end, he completely wasted his time. Indeed, he outperformed all of his peers when it came to trifling matters.” In 1202, he marched forth to combat against the city of Perugia, full of the hopes and aspirations of a young man who wished to achieve military fame.

  1. That was followed by a year of recuperation at Assisi, during which Francis, now in his early twenties, underwent a gradual transformation.
  2. “Francis, go repair my house,” Christ said three times from the crucifix to him one day as he prayed in a decaying church on the outskirts of Assisi.
  3. Francis recognized that he was being called to restore the church in which he worshipped (though his followers would later interpret this as a summons to reform the church), and he began to sell off family belongings in order to collect funds for the renovations.
  4. He brought Francis before the local bishop in an attempt to coerce his son into altering his unseemly behavior and repaying him.
  5. During the duration of the conversation, Francis removed his clothing from his body and placed them in a nice pile in front of his father.
  6. The hermit went out of the church, intending to be alone in isolation and silence for as long as possible in order to “hear the mysteries that God may communicate to him,” according to a biographer.

He was in church one day when he read the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew: “Do not take any gold, silver, or copper in your wallet, nor a bag for your journey, nor two tunics, sandals, or a staff with you.” He took it literally and embarked on an itinerant existence, intending to live in total simplicity while preaching a gospel that, in his experience, typically included forceful exhortations to repent.

In the words of one early biographer, “He exposed wrong whenever he discovered it and made no effort to palliate it; from him, a life of immorality met with open denunciation, not encouragement.” Francis was a stricter disciplinarian than the public imagination would have you believe.

When he was speaking with a lady, he kept his gaze focused on the sky or the ground in order to prevent passion.

Francis, despite his contagious cheerfulness, despised laughter and frivolous talk of any kind. “Not only did he hope that he himself refrain from laughing, but he also wished that he should refrain from providing others with even the tiniest opportunity to chuckle.”


1141 Hildegard of Bingen begins writing
1150 Universities of Paris and Oxford founded
1173 Waldensian movement begins
1182 Francis of Assisi born
1226 Francis of Assisi dies
1232 Gregory IX appoints first “inquisitors”

By 1209, he had assembled a small group of “brothers” to support him (12 men who wished to share in his life and ministry). He composed a Rule and traveled to Rome in order to get approbation for his efforts from the church. Francis was elected superior of the First Order of Franciscans, which was formed as a result of this. Women were drawn to Francis’s teachings as well, and when Francis met Clare, a wealthy young woman from Assisi, the Second Order of Franciscans, popularly known as the Poor Clares, was established.

Francis toured all around Italy and even crossed the Mediterranean at one time.

However, the sultan was so taken aback by the messenger’s performance that he granted him safe passage back to the capital.

Embracing death

Soon, his brothers (known as friars, and increasing in number as time went on) were making pilgrimages to France, Spain, Germany, England, Hungary, and Turkey, preaching the message of repentance, gospel simplicity, and radical obedience to Christ’s teaching. They were also establishing missions in other countries. As has been the case throughout history, corruption penetrated religious circles, while apathy pervaded the general public. Nevertheless, as one observer put it, as a result of the teaching of the Franciscan brothers and sisters, “persons of both sexes, affluent and worldly, have forsaken their belongings and, for the love of Christ, have turned their backs on the world.” In a nutshell, Francis had sparked a religious revival that would eventually extend throughout Europe.

The Rule that had suited a small band of Franciscans was no longer appropriate for the vast organization that the Franciscans were becoming.

Francis promoted the live creche during his final years as a way to draw attention to the poverty into which Christ was born.

As he approached his forties, sickness ravaged his body, eventually causing him to lose his sight altogether.

Francis earns his well-deserved reputation as a man who delighted in God’s creation via this poem: “Praise be You, my Lord, with all your creatures, particularly Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom You give us light.” In the poem, Francis also praises “Brother Wind,” “Brother Fire,” and “Sister Mother Earth,” as well as other elements of nature.

What a terrible fate awaits those who die in grave sin.

In the years after Francis’s death, the Franciscans continued to flourish and, in an odd twist for an order that had been instructed by its founder “to appropriate nothing for themselves, neither a home, nor a location, nor anything else,” they eventually grew rather wealthy.

An magnificent basilica was constructed at Assisi, and the remains of Francis were transferred there in 1230.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Bernadone is the son of Pietro Bernadone, a wealthy textile dealer. A solid education and subsequent employment with his father’s company notwithstanding, he also had a relatively wasted youthful period. Street brawler who has also served as a soldier on occasion. He was captured during a skirmish between Assisi and Perugia, Italy, and held as a prisoner of war for more than a year. His conversion experience took place during this period, and he received a message from Christ, instructing him to leave this worldly existence behind.

  1. He lived his life according to the Gospels, with Jesus Christ serving as his literal example.
  2. Francis’s family disapproved, and his father disinherited him; he publicly relinquished his money and inheritance as a result of this.
  3. In 1209, he began to draw disciples, and with papal sanction, he established the Franciscan Order, which was based on a single statement of Jesus: “Leave everything and follow me.” Clare of Assisibecame his spiritual disciple in 1212, which resulted in the establishment of the Poor Clares.
  4. ComposedsongsandhymnstoGodandnature.
  5. In 1221, he resigned from his position as head of the Franciscans.
  6. Thestigmata caused him to bleed intermittently for the next two years of his life.
  7. During the Middle Ages, persons who felt they were possessed byBeelzebub, in particular, sought the intercession of Saint Francis, on the grounds that he was thedemon’s opposite number in heaven, according to popular belief.
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Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with coining the phrase Make yourself holy, and you will make society holy as well.–Saint Francis of Assisi Blessed Francis’ virtues have magnified Your church, re-enriching it with spiritual progeny.

– Missal of the Roman Catholic Church God the Father made it known to the holy and beautiful Virgin Mary, via his archangel, Saint Gabriel, that the worthy, holy and glorious Word of the Father would come from heaven and take the true flesh of our human weakness out of her womb.

In spite of the fact that he was a multimillionaire, he opted to live in poverty with his kind mother instead.

His prayer to his Father was as follows: “Father, if it is at all possible, please remove this cup from my hands.” But he put his trust in the will of his Father and let his will be done.

But it was not to be done in the name of God, through whom all things were created, but in the name of our sins.

Moreover, he wishes for everyone of us to be saved through him, and for us to welcome him with an unblemished heart and a clean body.

Let us be kind and humble in our actions.

Men lose everything of the tangible possessions they have left behind in this world, but they take with them the recompense for their charitable deeds and alms that they have given.

We must not act in accordance with our fleshly wisdom.

We should never have the ambition to be superior to others.

All who live in this manner and continue in it to the end will be filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord.

They will be the Father’s children, and they will carry out his will.

Jesus is delighted to accompany us, just as truth is delighted to be spoken, life is delighted to be lived, light is delighted to be ignited, love is delighted to be loved, joy is delighted to be given, and peace is delighted to be spread.– Saint Francis of Assisi (also known as Saint Francis of Assisi) Gratitude is due to my Lord and God, together with all of His creations, and especially to our brother the sun, who gives us daylight and illuminates our lives; he is lovely, and he gleams with tremendous glory.

O Lord, he serves as a reminder to us of your presence! Praise be to our Lord for our sister the moon, as well as for these stars, which are clear and beautiful in the heavens. – Saint Francis of Assisi

Why is Francis of Assisi the patron saint of ecology?

Welcoming you to Burning Questions, an EarthBeat series that tackles the burning questions that have been brewing in your mind about climate change and religion – from the fundamentals to the more complicated, and all in between. Do you have a burning question of your own to share? Please let us know. For Catholics, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi is celebrated on October 4, which is commonly acknowledged as such. Francis of Assisi is one of the most well-known and adored of the saints, and his name has become linked in religious pop culture with brown habits, birdbaths, and the blessing of animals on the feast of St.

  • However, Francis is also renowned as the patron saint of the environment, which goes beyond pets.
  • Who was it that made that decision?
  • It’s the subject of our most recent Burning Question here at EarthBeat, which you can read about here.
  • So, who was Francis of Assisi, and what was his story?
  • Francis was born in the Italian town of Assisi somewhere between 1181 and 1182, according to historians who disagree on the year.
  • Francis got ill when he was captured during a fight with a nearby town in 1201, and his condition deteriorated rapidly.
  • Later, as he prepared to embark on a new military mission, he had a dream in which God spoke to him, and he decided to return to Assisi in order to provide care for the sick and the sickly.

Francis initially interpreted this message as a directive to restore the Church of San Damiano, located outside of Assisi, but eventually realized that it was referring to the entire church, and some have even suggested that it was referring to creation itself.

He went on to form the Order of Friars Minor (generally known today as the Franciscans), as well as co-founding the Order of St.

He was well-known for his devotion to all of creation (we’ll get into that more later), but he was also well-known for his dedication to the poor, peace, and interreligious communication, as seen by his meeting with the Sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.

He was recognized as a saint less than two years after his death.

As it turns out, that wasn’t all that long ago.

29, 1979, Pope John Paul II issued a papal bull in which he named St.


The “Canticle of the Creatures,” Francis’ renowned prayer hymn that is considered to be one of the pillars of Franciscan spirituality, was also referenced by Pope John Paul II.

And it was Pope Francis who was the first to use the saint of Assisi as the inspiration for his papal name.) In the late 1970s, Francis of Assisi was designated as the patron saint of ecology, capping a decade that saw the emergence of a contemporary environmental movement that culminated in the inaugural Earth Day celebration, which took place in the United States.

  1. Take a step back for a moment.
  2. Traditionally, a patron saint is someone who is considered to have the capacity to intercede with God on behalf of others’ prayers, according to Catholic tradition.
  3. From the early days of the Catholic Church, the practice of identifying patron saints may be traced back centuries.
  4. Yes, there are saints who serve as patrons for particular churches.
  5. A patron saint exists for practically every career and condition, as well as for almost every religious denomination.
  6. Isidore is known as the “Farmer’s Patron Saint.” St.
  7. St.


Some saints are patron saints of a variety of causes.

So, why was Francis of Assisi designated as the patron saint of the environment?

“Sister Moon and Stars,” “Brother Wind,” and “Sister Water” are some of the many names Francis gives to the many elements of creation in his letter.

All praise is due to you, my Lord, via our Sister, Mother Earth, who supports us and instructs us by bringing out all types of fruits, flowers, and herbs in all shades of color and variety.

“For Francis, everything of creation became a theophany, a demonstration of the kindness of God,” says Franciscan Sr.

“As the Canticle reveals, Francis praises God ‘through’ (per) the elements of creation, because nature is viewed as a sacramental manifestation of God’s abundant love, which is shown in the Canticle.

Theologian Michael Delio believes that Francis’ knowledge of God’s presence “was not an immediate experience,” but rather built over time as he matured in his friendship with Christ and learned to see the Incarnation as sanctifying all of creation.

She goes on to say that for Francis, respect for creation did not stem from a sense of duty, but rather from a sense of love, because he regarded it as “intimately connected” with God.

Indeed, Francis’ life is filled with anecdotes about animals, many of which are told in his books.

He then persuaded the monster to vow his allegiance to the inhabitants of Gubbio, and the story ends there.

Additionally, he instructed his comrades not to take down the tree in its entirety when gathering firewood, and to put aside a piece of the garden for wildflowers to blossom.

Some, however, believe that limiting the saint’s ministry and message to “Francis, friend of the animals” risks diluting his message and mission.

Daniel Horan, refers to those instances in which the saint is “reduced to a medieval petting-zoo mascot or states simply that he “loved animals” without regard for the radical truth about God and creation that he intended.

Francis called all creatures — including nonhuman animals that we classify as sentient, but also rocks and trees — his sisters and brothers “because, in a real sense, they are,” he said, adding that the consequences of humanity’s hubris, which places us above creation, are visible in pollution of the environment, extinction of species, and climate change.

All of those characteristics can be found in the way humans interact with the environment in which they live.

Francis’ teachings on creation?

Theologian Delio, in her 2003 book on the subject, A Franciscan View of Creation: Learning to Live in a Sacramental World, asks the following question to help explain her point of view on the subject: When it comes to nature, what is our most fundamental relationship?

According to the key premise, “The essential link between Incarnation and creation compels us to believe that each and every component of creation have unquestionable dignity since everything is formed precisely and uniquely via the Word of God.” In accordance with the Franciscan tradition, all of creation is regarded as “a free gift from God, given equally to all.” It adheres to a reverent attitude toward nature, and it bases its ecological commitment on a reverent attitude toward all that comes from the Creator.

Delio goes on to say that this Franciscan perspective of creation demands individuals to acknowledge their connectivity with the natural world, as well as how sinful acts have contributed to existing ecological issues and how future actions can either contribute to God’s goal for the world or sabotage it.

In fact, three years after Francis of Assisi was designated as the patron saint of ecology, Franciscans and representatives from Italian environmental organizations convened at the Terra Mater International Seminar to discuss environmental issues.

Where can I find out more information?

At Franciscantradition.org, you may read the writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi, as well as early biographies, and learn more about their lives.

For the 35th anniversary of Francis of Assisi being declared the patron saint of ecology in 1984, the global Franciscan family built a website, Francis35.org, to commemorate the occasion.

There are also a plethora of papers and books published on Francis and Franciscan ecology, which may be found online.

Several of the authors, includingDelio and Horan, are regular contributors to NCR and Global Sisters Report, and they have written for both publications. The following are some recommended readings on Franciscan ecotheology:

  • Horan’s upcoming 2018 A Theology of Creation
  • All God’s Creatures: A Theology of Creation
  • The book was published in 2012. • Ecological Footprints: An Essential Franciscan Guide for Faith and Sustainable Living, written by Franciscan Sr. Dawn Nothwehr, an ethicist at Catholic Theological Union, is available for purchase. Pamela Wood’s book, Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth, was published in 2008 and was authored by Delio, Franciscan Br. Keith Warner, and others.

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