- 1 More saints than Francis of Assisi loved their pets
- 2 Patron Saint of Pets & Animals – Funeral Help Center
- 3 Saint Roch: The Patron Saint of Dogs
- 4 Patron Saint of Dogs
- 5 The Plague Strikes.
- 6 Cared for by a Hunting Dog
- 7 Arrest and Imprisonment
- 8 Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi for Sick Pets and other Catholic Prayers at Heavenly Divine Custom Rosaries
- 9 St Francis and the Animals
- 10 St. Francis: Patron saint of animals – and activism?
- 11 Toolsfrom our Resource Library
- 12 Early Life
- 13 Life-Changing Experience
- 14 Life of Service
- 15 Miracles for People
- 16 Miracles for Animals
- 17 Death
- 18 Legacy
- 19 Sources
- 20 Bless Your Pets on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
- 21 MyCatholicSource.com: Saints & Animals
- 22 Why is Francis of Assisi the patron saint of ecology?
More saints than Francis of Assisi loved their pets
Pet and animal blessings are held in numerous churches during the month of October, not only Catholic parishes. These celebrations are held in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the 13th-century founder of the Franciscan order who is also the patron saint of animals and the environment, among other things. ) In 1979, Pope John Paul II designated Francis as the patron saint of individuals who fight to protect the environment from pollution. About a year before his death in 1226, Francis, who was credited with taming the notorious man-eating wolf of Gubio and was even reported to preach to birds, also authored the “Canticle of the Sun.” The canticle is also known as Laudes Creaturarum in Latin, which means “Light of Creation” (Praise of the Creatures).
Around 1910, an English priest named William Draper translated Francis’ canticle into English and set it to music from a 17th-century German hymn for a children’s festival in his home country of England.
It is a reminder from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” that “animals are God’s creations.” He protects them from harm by his providential care.
As a result, they owe compassion to others.
- Francis of Assisi and St.
- One of these individuals is St.
- Philip was a saint who lived in the sixteenth century and is associated with cats since it is reported that he toured the streets of Rome with his favorite cat in a basket.
- Gertrude of Nievelles, who lived in what is now Belgium, is another saint who is renowned as the patron saint of cats.
- (Keep in mind that rats brought fleas, which spread the plague.) This alone would lead one to believe that Gertrude is a cat enthusiast.
- Jerome is sometimes pictured with a particularly huge cat: a lion.
The saint then spent the remainder of his life with the thankful creature.
Anthony the Great, which falls on a Sunday (also known as Anthony of Egypt and Anthony, Abbot).
Anthony was one of the desert fathers, and he is known as the “Father of Monks” because of his work with monks.
Mostly, he is credited for being nice to animals, maybe even blessing them, as well as with abstaining from eating meat.
Anthony’s blessing has been carried forth.
The practice there dates back at least to 1930, and it was originally observed on January 17, but it was shifted later in the year due of the warmer weather.
Martin of Tours who is associated with horses, andSt.
Lazarus (the beggar in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and the beggar) who is associated with dog breeds.
Brigid of Ireland is known as the patron saint of pigs.
Francis, on the other hand, resurrected both creatures from the grave, which is only one of the numerous resurrection stories linked with the saint.
When heretics refused to stop and listen to his words, it is believed that St.
An other version of the story claims that Antony bet with a merchant in the Italian town of Ramini on the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.
Of course, the saint triumphed, and the merchant was persuaded to change his ways by the faith of his donkey.
Francis of Assisi.
Felix of Nola was a confessor of the religion in the third century (which implies he was not killed, but rather suffered for the faith) who lived during the Middle Ages.
The troops did not investigate the building because spiders had built webs around the entrance as soon as Felix entered, giving the impression that it was unoccupied, preventing the soldiers from inspecting it.
Blase is the name to look up to.
“The Catholic Encyclopedia,” “The Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Saints.SQPN.com, and fisheaters.com are some of the sources.
Patron Saint of Pets & Animals – Funeral Help Center
“Saint Francis Preaching to the Animals,” a painting by Jan Siberechts dated 1666, is depicted in this detail. Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons More than 10,000 persons are venerated as saints by the Catholic Church, many of whom are linked with unique events or circumstances. Examples include St. Bibiana as the patron saint of hangovers, St. Columbanus as the patron saint of motorcycle riders, and St. Balthasar as the patron saint of playing-card producers. In the next section, you will learn why St.
The Life of St. Francis of Assisi
This future Catholic saint, who was born in 1181 to a wealthy family in Assisi, Italy, was originally given the name Giovanni, which is the Italian equivalent of “John,” but his father preferred the name Francesco, which translates as “Frenchman” in Italian. (His father was a successful silk trader who cherished France and was married to a noblewoman from the country of his birth.) Francis (the abbreviated version of Francesco) grew up in a life of wealth and prosperity, but he and his family were not members of the aristocracy like his father and grandfather.
- Francesco was presented with two such possibilities while he was in his early twenties.
- After being deprived of luxury and privilege for around a year, he soon returned to his previous life of excess and indulgence as the son of a wealthy family upon his release.
- Not only did this epiphany demonstrate to him the futility of his current lifestyle and objectives, but it also gave him the instruction to return to his home as soon as possible.
- Francis died in 1226 at the age of 45 after living the remainder of his life in poverty and spreading Christian teaching.
St. Francis’ Connection to Pets and Animals
According to Francis, nature and all of its magnificent creations were a reflection of God’s power and purpose, and as a result, everything on earth — animal or plant, large or small — was bound together by a kinship and bond that required treating everyone and everything else in God’s creation with respect and on an equal footing. This frame of view extended to animals as well, and two tales contributed to Francis’ ultimate designation as the patron saint of pets and animals. The first is the story of how he used the strength of his voice to preach to a man-eating wolf that was tormenting residents of a town near Assisi, therefore putting an end to the threat.
As a result of these and other factors, St.
Pet owners today frequently pray to this Catholic saint for the blessing of their animals, and numerous pet cemeteries include a statue, mural, or some other representation of St.
Francis on their grounds as well. “St. Francis of Assisi.” is one of the sources. Obtainable on the 5th of January, 2019.
Saint Roch: The Patron Saint of Dogs
The 16th of August, 2020 The annual feast day of St. Roch, the patron saint of dogs, is celebrated on August 16. As a French nobleman born in 1295, Saint Roch (pronounced “rock”) may appear to be an odd choice as the patron saint of dogs. After all, he was born into a noble family. However, there is a great deal more to the narrative.
Patron Saint of Dogs
Additionally, in addition to being the patron saint of dogs, Roch is also the patron saint of invalids, those who have been wrongfully accused, and bachelors. He is also the patron saint of the Italian cities of Dolo, Parma, Palagiano, and Cisterna di Latina. Despite the fact that he was born into wealth, he did not appear to be a huge admirer of it. After losing his parents when he was twenty years old, he set out to roam the countryside around Rome. When the plague struck the peasants, Roch was well-known for sacrificing not only his money, but also his time to alleviate their suffering.
The Plague Strikes.
After years of assisting others and devoting virtually all of his wealth to those in need, Saint Roch was ultimately struck down by the plague himself. He chose to die in the wilderness rather than burden others with his care because he did not want to bother others with his care. A stray dog came upon him when he was suffering, starving, and alone in the woods. Roch had fully anticipated the beast attacking him and putting an end to his pain. As a substitute, the animal gave him bread to consume.
It is stated that this hunting dog saved Roch’s life by licking the wounds left by the disease and by bringing him food to keep him alive throughout the pandemic.
Cared for by a Hunting Dog
Roch was able to recover in the end. He and his freshly acquired dog headed into town, where they found that the dog belonged to a local Count who had been a long-time friend of theirs. The dog was handed to Roch by the owner, who was taken aback and amazed by it. Together, Roch and his newfound four-legged companion set off on a new journey, finally returning to their home in Montpelier, France. However, Roch’s life was not yet done, and they were in for much more adventures.
Arrest and Imprisonment
When they returned to France, Roch and his dog were apprehended and charged with espionage. Both of them would spend the next five years in jail together. Some say that the dog managed to live by providing care for other inmates. Others believe that an angel looked after the duo.Whatever the case, Roch never acknowledged his noble background to jail officials and as a result, he spent the rest of his life in prison under false accusations until his death in 1295. The only information we can find is in the “Golden Legend” (a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine that was widely read in late medieval Europe) that an angel brought from heaven a table divinely written with gold letters into the prison, which he placed under the head of S.
Furthermore, it was written on the table that God had given him his request, i.e., that he who calls gently to S.
has been granted his petition. While history does not tell us what happened to the dog, many believe that he appears in the shape of every dog in our own lives and that he will be protected from any serious harm.
Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi for Sick Pets and other Catholic Prayers at Heavenly Divine Custom Rosaries
Saint Francis of Assisi, for the Good of Our Pets St. Francis, you had a deep affection for all of God’s creations. They were like your brothers and sisters in your eyes. Please encourage us to follow your example of treating all living things with kindness. Thank you. St. Francis, Patron Saint of Animals, please keep an eye on my pet and ensure that he or she is safe and well. Amen. St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Sick Animals Heavenly Father, you created everything for your glory, and you entrusted us with the care of this living creation.
- Holy is the name of the Almighty God, and blessed are you for all time and eternity.
- We now implore You to provide our unique animal companions with your Fatherly care and healing power, and to relieve them of whatever suffering they may be experiencing.
- They have faith in us, just as we have faith in You; our souls and their souls are on this world together, sharing friendship, compassion, and care with one another.
- (Please include the names of the animals who require prayer in this section.) Each and every living thing benefits from Your goodness, and Your grace is extended to all of Your creations.
- Long and healthy lives for our beloved animal pals are our wishes.
- Please accept our petition through the intercession of the excellent St.
- Assign him the responsibility of keeping an eye on our animal companions until they are reunited with You in eternity, where we hope to one day join them in praising You for all of eternity.
- (By reciting this prayer for nine consecutive days, you can turn it into a Novena for a sick pet.) Pet identification tag with the image of Saint Francis of Assisi.
St Francis and the Animals
Each animal have its own distinct personality and intellect, and they may be quite attentive to the human people who are in their immediate vicinity. Anyone who has owned a pet or spent time with animals knows that each animal has its own personality and intelligence. These responses may be elevated to unthinkable heights in the presence of holy persons, as seen by their lives and those of other saints. As an example, the legends of Saint Francis and his companion animals are among the most well-known and cherished of everyone.
As a result, it comes as no surprise that the Seraphic Friar is revered as the patron saint of animals, birds, and the natural world. Consider the creatures shown in the image of Saint Francis with the Animals by Monastery Icons, which may be found here.
“All ye birds of the air, bless the Lord”
Saint Francis and his companions were on a journey through the Poleto Valley, near the village of Bevagna, when they came upon this sign. Saint Francis was startled when he noticed a large number of birds of various kinds, including doves, crows, and others. Saint Francis, swept up in the moment, abandoned his companions on the path and raced after the birds, who eagerly awaited his arrival in the woods. He greeted them in his customary manner, anticipating that they would flee into the air as he talked to them.
- He asked them if they would like to remain for a bit and listen to the Word of God, and they agreed.
- It was God who elevated you above all other animals by creating a dwelling for you in the sky.
- Afterwards, Saint Francis went directly into the midst of them before turning around and returning to them, stroking their heads and bodies with his tunic.
- They took off in a jubilant manner, and Saint Francis continued on his journey, thanking God for everything.
- Afterward, he made it his habit to solicitously invite all birds, animals, and reptiles to sing praises to and respect their Creator from that point forth.
- A swarm of loud birds that were interfering with a religious occasion was once brought under control by him!
- Francis was canonized in 1228 by Pope Gregory IX, who also placed the foundation stone for the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi at the time of the declaration.
A rabbit that had been caught in a trap was brought to St. Francis by one of the brothers one day. The saint counseled the rabbit to be more vigilant in the future, after which he released the rabbit from the trap and placed it on the ground to continue on its trip to its destination. The rabbit, on the other hand, climbed back up into Saint Francis’ lap, clearly longing to be near to him. Saint Francis carried the rabbit a few paces into the woods before setting it down on a log.
It, on the other hand, followed Saint Francis back to his seat and climbed on his lap once more! Finally, Saint Francis urged one of his other friars to take the rabbit deep into the woods and let it be free, and the rabbit agreed.
Tamed by the Spirit of Peace
Whilst visiting in the town of Gubbio, Saint Francis learnt about a wild dog that was not only killing and devouring animals, but even people, who had been attacked by the wolf. The people took up arms and pursued the wolf, but those who came into contact with it died as a result of the wolf’s razor-sharp fangs. Villagers began to be terrified to venture outside the city gates. Saint Francis felt sorry for the people and chose to confront the wolf in the wilderness. Although he was repeatedly warned by the populace, he maintained that God would take care of him.
- However, the peasants quickly lost spirit and said that they would not go any further.
- Suddenly, the wolf came out of the trees, his jaws gaping, straight towards the pair.
- The wolf was forced to slow down and lock its mouth as a result of the might of God.
- I command you not to cause harm to anybody in the name of Christ.” The wolf dropped its head and sat down at Saint Francis’ feet, as gentle as a lamb, at that very moment.
- “Sister Wolf,” Francis explained, “I’d like to bring peace between you and the people of Gubbio.” They will no longer hurt you, and you must refrain from harming them.
- When the wolf refused, Saint Francis demanded that he make a commitment, which took the assembled throng completely by surprise.
- Then Saint Francis ordered the wolf to accompany him into town so that he might negotiate a peace treaty with the locals.
Everybody in the town plaza had gathered to witness the miracle by the time they arrived to the town square.
Then, on behalf of the wolf, he extended an offer of peace to the citizens of the town.
Then Saint Francis asked the wolf whether he would be willing to live in peace if those conditions were met.
The wolf then placed its paw in the palm of Saint Francis’ hand as a symbol of the covenant once more.
For two years, the wolf lived among the inhabitants, wandering from door to house in search of sustenance.
Even the dogs were deafeningly quiet around it.
Because of the wolf’s tranquil demeanor, they were reminded of the miracles of Saint Francis’ patience, virtues, and sanctity, which served as a live reminder to them. It has served as a living emblem of the power and providence of the living God throughout history.
Saint Francis and the Lambs
Because Saint Francis valued the sanctity of all life, he saw all creatures as brothers and sisters in the Lord, a sentiment that is reflected in his writings. He came across a trader who was transporting two little lambs to the market on one occasion. Because of the lambs’ sorrowful bleating, he caressed them and inquired of the farmer, “Why do you afflict my brothers the lambs?” he said. When he discovered, to his horror, that the guy intended to sell them for slaughter, he exclaimed, “That will not happen!” and purchased the animals from the individual.
At another point during his stay in Rome, Saint Francis acquired a lamb for himself, which he then presented to the lady Jacopa upon his departure.
Moreover, in its excitement to get to church, it would frequently startle its mistress by giving her a kindly butting of the head when she was late for church.
The Donkey Who Wept
The legend has it that, on his deathbed, St. Francis expressed gratitude to his donkey for carrying and aiding him throughout his life, and that his donkey cried in response.
The Congregation of Fish
Whenever a fish was captured and he was present, he would release the fish back into the water, telling it not to be caught again in the same spot. On numerous instances, the fish would congregate alongside the boat for a period of time, listening to Saint Francis speak, until he granted them permission to depart. Then they would jump into the water and swim away. He would find appreciation for the artist, our loving Creator, in every piece of art, as Saint Francis referred to all creation as.
Prayer for the Blessing of Pets (commonly done on Saint Francis’ feast day, October 4th)
God, you are greatly praised as the creator of all living beings. You summoned the fish in the water, the birds in the sky, and the animals on the ground. Saint Francis was moved by your actions and addressed them all as brothers and sisters. I’d want you to bless this pet for me. Allow it to live according to your plan by using the power of your love to make it happen. May we always remember to thank you for all of your beautiful creations. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures, in all your creations!
St. Francis: Patron saint of animals – and activism?
The 4th of October, 2016 Stephen H. Padre is the author of this piece. The Feast of St. Francis (1181/1182-1226) is celebrated today on the liturgical calendar, and it is the day on which the Church remembers a renowned Franciscan from Assisi, Italy. He is known as the patron saint of the environment and animals because he was compassionate toward all things and is said to have preached to even birds. In recent years, many churches have begun to bless dogs and other animals as a means to commemorate this day and respect his spirit, and this has become more popular.
- He was born into a 1 percent household, the son of a successful silk merchant, and grew up in a 1 percent environment.
- Peter’s Basilica, and he went on to live a life of poverty as a friar after that experience.
- The following is the introduction of this resource’s account of St.
- The Episcopal Church argues that Jesus belongs in a more public and visible setting, such as a courtroom.
- The monastic order that Francis created – the Franciscans – has a reputation for poverty, simplicity of living, and concern for the poor that is well-deserved.
- Francis associated so strongly with people who are impoverished that he was willing to give up everything he had in order to become one of them.
This is because God has a unique care for this group of people.
There are other more special interests that have significant lobbying groups in our nation’s capital, including big oil, big agriculture, gun owners, and others.
Who represents them in the United States Congress?
Perhaps we, as hunger-relief campaigners, should consider making St.
And there has never been a more important time to push for solutions to hunger and extreme poverty than right now.
They are interested in learning what voters desire.
Inform them that hunger must be eliminated.
For the past many years, Stephen H. Padre has served as managing editor of Bread for the World. St. Francis associated so strongly with people who are impoverished that he was willing to give up everything he had in order to become one of them.
Toolsfrom our Resource Library
St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1181–Oct. 3, 1226) is the patron saint of animals, commerce, and the environment, according to the Roman Catholic Church. He apparently left a life of luxury after hearing the voice of God, who instructed him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty, according to reports. St. Francis is known for the miracles that many claim God accomplished through him, as well as for his concern for the defenseless, particularly the poor, the ill, and the animals, among other things.
Fast Facts: St. Francis of Assisi
- Popular for: Being the patron saint of animals
- Also known as: Francesco (or Giovanni) di Pietro di Bernardone
- Born in Assisi, Italy, about 1181
- Died in Assisi, Italy, around 1190
- Pietro di Bernardone and Pica de Bourlemont were his parents
- He died on October 3, 1226, at Assisi, Italy. Quote to Remember: “Begin by doing what is required
- Then do what is doable
- And suddenly you are doing the unthinkable.”
Francis was born about 1181 in Assisi, Umbria, a region in central Italy, to Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone and Francesca de’ Medici. It is said that his father, Pietro di Bernardone, was a wealthy textile trader who married a French noblewoman who raised him. His father was away on business at the time of his birth, and his mother named him Giovanni, which is the Italian word for John the Baptist, to honor him. His father desired a businessman rather than a man of God, and he christened his son Francesco, or Francis, in honor of his affection for France.
When asked about his time there, Francis allegedly said, “I lived in sin.”
He was supposed to follow in his father’s footsteps into the textile industry, but the prospect of such life made him nauseous. He fantasized about a future as a knight, or, in other words, as a medieval action hero. As a result, by 1202, he had joined a militia to fight for Assisi in the city’s conflict with the Italian province of Perugia, which had begun in 1201. Francis was seized when the Assisi army were defeated. Francis’ kidnappers realized he came from an affluent family and was worth a ransom because of his clothing and equipment, so they decided to let him live.
After coming home, he stumbled upon a leper while walking through the woods.
Life of Service
Francis felt convinced that God intended him to aid the needy, and he sold all of his belongings to fulfill this desire. A gospel reading was read at a Mass in 1208, and it contained the following instructions from Jesus Christ to his followers about how to serve to people: “Do not take any gold, silver, or copper to put in your belts—no bag for the journey, no extra tunic, shoes, or a staff.” It was those remarks that solidified his decision to live a humble life, preach the Gospel to people in need, and help restore the Christian Church.
Francis needed money to construct the church, despite his vow of poverty, and so he sold part of his father’s fabric and a horse to get the funds.
Francis peeled off his clothing and handed them, along with the money, to his father, declaring that God had replaced his father as his father.
Francis was given a shabby tunic by the bishop, and he set out to do his task while clad in these shabby garments.
The example set by Francis prompted other young men to give up their things and join him in laboring with their hands, sleeping in caves or huts, preaching about God’s compassion and forgiveness, praying, and serving the destitute, including lepers.
Miracles for People
Francis hoped that God would work miracles through him and his followers. A tormentingdemonto left his spirit when he washed aleperand begged for it to leave him. As the guy recovered from his injuries, he expressed guilt and sought forgiveness from God. Another day, three bandits broke into Francis’ community and took food and water from him. He prayed for them and dispatched a friar to deliver bread and drink to them. The thieves were moved by Francis’ deeds, and they joined his order, dedicating their lives to giving rather than stealing from others.
Miracles for Animals
Francis considered animals to be his brothers and sisters, and he hoped that God would use him to bring about their well-being. Birds would occasionally congregate around Francis while he spoke and listened to him. Francis proceeded to preach to them, telling them of the many ways in which God had blessed them. When Francis was living in Gubbio, in the province of Perugia, a wolf began attacking people and other animals in the neighborhood. He went to the wolf to see if he might tame it. However, Francis prayed and stepped closer to the charging wolf instead of running away.
It was agreed upon by Francis and the town that the wolf would be fed on a regular basis if it vowed never to hurt another human or animal.
Francis developed conjunctivitis and malaria while ministering to the poor and sick, which he later recovered from. Later, while Francis was on the verge of death, he returned to Assisi for the last time. Because he was regarded as a saint needing only formal canonization, knights were dispatched to watch him and ensure that he was not taken away after his death by any means. The body of a saint was considered to be an exceptionally precious relic at the time of its discovery. It was stated that a flock of larks swooped down on Francis’ body and began singing at the moment of his death, which occurred on Oct.
Those who disagreed with Francis said he was a fool or deluded, while those who agreed believed he was one of the best examples of fulfilling the Christian ideal since Jesus Christ. Francis of Assisi was well-known across the Christian world, regardless of whether he had been touched by God or had gone insane. Francis has been designated as the patron saint of animals by the Catholic Church as a result of his concern for animals. Because of the rough garments that Francis and his followers wear, they are distinct from other priests of the Catholic Church.
The order continues to provide assistance to the disadvantaged around the world.
- “The Biography of St. Francis of Assisi.” “St. Francis of Assisi,” Biography.com
- “St. Francis of Assisi,” Catholic Online
- “St. Francis of Assisi.”
Bless Your Pets on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
An In-Depth Look at the Life of St.
Francis of Assisi “St. Francis of Assisi,” Biography.com; Catholic Online, “St. Francis of Assisi.”
Who is St. Francis of Assisi
In the 12th century, St. Francis of Assisi was born in Italy and formed the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women who were unable to live the life of traveling preachers. He was canonized in 1431. St. Francis is considered to be one of the most renowned religious saints in the history of mankind. He is recognized for his generosity to the needy, his readiness to minister to lepers, and his love of animals and nature. He is also noted for his love of animals and environment.
The Blessing of Animals
Because of St. Francis’ passion for animals, as stated in his Canticle of Creatures, a large number of people bring their pets to the church on his feast day in order to have them blessed. You can also pray for and bless your dogs and other animals at home if you have them. Whether in your backyard, garden, or somewhere else inside your home, a vocal blessing and a sprinkling of holy water can be presented. It is possible to utilize the following Pet Blessing: God, you are greatly praised as the creator of all living beings.
- We respectfully request that you bless this pet.
- We pray that we will always be able to thank you for all of the beauty you have created.
During this time of year, consider giving pet food, as well as gently used blankets and towels, to your local animal rescue organization. The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi gives an excellent chance to educate youngsters about endangered or abused animals, as well as what we can all do to support them in their quest for survival.
MyCatholicSource.com: Saints & Animals
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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.
- Take a step back for a moment.
- 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.
- From the early days of the Catholic Church, the practice of identifying patron saints may be traced back centuries.
- Yes, there are saints who serve as patrons for particular churches.
- A patron saint exists for practically every career and condition, as well as for almost every religious denomination.
- Isidore is known as the “Farmer’s Patron Saint.” 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 writes that Francis’ understanding of God’s presence “was not an immediate experience,” but rather developed over time as he grew in his relationship with Christ and came 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 stories 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 central idea, “The fundamental relationship between Incarnation and creation leads us to believe that each and every aspect of creation possesses unquestionable dignity because everything is created specifically and uniquely through 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 view of creation requires people to recognize their interconnectedness with the natural world, as well as how sinful acts have contributed to current ecological crises and how future actions can either contribute to God’s vision 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 named the patron saint of ecology in 1984, the global Franciscan family created 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.