Why Is St Francis The Patron Saint Of Animals

Biography of St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals

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.”

Early Life

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.”

Life-Changing Experience

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.”

The Patron Saint of Animals and Ecology

The life of St. Francis of Assisi is a fascinating read. St. Francis of Assisi spent a significant amount of his time preaching about animals, exhorting people to see all creatures as brothers and sisters in God’s eyes. St. Francis, who was born in Italy in 1181, is currently honored as the Patron Saint of Environmentalists. He served as a soldier for the most of his childhood, but following a “conversion experience,” he decided to give up his family’s fortune and devote his life to the service of God.

  1. A three-million-strong crowd gathered to pay their respects during his burial in 1226.
  2. John the Evangelist.
  3. Francis as the Patron Saint of Ecologists, which is still in effect today.
  4. Francis of Assisi might be considered the founder of the modern environmental movement.
  5. His sermons contained anecdotes about birds, fish, and bunnies, among other things.
  6. Francis is observed annually on October 14.
  7. The festival is most widely observed in Italy, namely at Assisi, where St.

The celebration begins on October 3rd, when the town of Assisi commemorates St.

Pet blessings are performed the next day during special religious events and ceremonies where individuals from all over the world, not only those in Assisi, Italy, can bring their animals to be blessed.

Francis are scheduled throughout the week, including nature walks and children’s games for the young.

Francis, which included honey almond cake, which was a favorite of the saint’s.

Poaching, climate change, unsustainable agriculture, and widespread deforestation for lumber all contribute to the loss of wildlife habitat throughout the world, making St Francis’—and presently Pope Francis’—messages on caring for the environment even more relevant today.

Francis was a revered figure who was concerned about the environment and animals, and he made it his mission to raise awareness about these issues via his sermons and writings.

St Francis’ teaching and joy of the planet are carried on today via reforestation, environmental education, climate action, and the conservation of endangered species all across the world, among other things. William Pappas, a student intern

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.

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.

  1. He asked them if they would like to remain for a bit and listen to the Word of God, and they agreed.
  2. It was God who elevated you above all other animals by creating a dwelling for you in the sky.
  3. 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.
  4. They took off in a jubilant manner, and Saint Francis continued on his journey, thanking God for everything.
  5. 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.
  6. A swarm of loud birds that were interfering with a religious occasion was once brought under control by him!
  7. 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.

Doves have nested at the Basilica since it was built, according to mythology, and have done so ever since the foundation stone was put in the basilica.

The Rabbit

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!

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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!

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.

  1. However, Francis is also renowned as the patron saint of the environment, which goes beyond pets.
  2. Who was it that made that decision?
  3. It’s the subject of our most recent Burning Question here at EarthBeat, which you can read about here.
  4. So, who was Francis of Assisi, and what was his story?
  5. Francis was born in the Italian town of Assisi somewhere between 1181 and 1182, according to historians who disagree on the year.
  6. Francis got ill when he was captured during a fight with a nearby town in 1201, and his condition deteriorated rapidly.
  7. 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.
  • 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.

But some say seeing the saint only as “Francis, friend of the animals” risks diluting his ministry and message.

Daniel Horan has critiqued what he calls a ” birdbath industrial complex ” around Francis — that is, those instances that “reduce the saint to a medieval petting-zoo mascot or state simply that he ‘loved animals’ without regard for the radical truth about God and creation he intended.” “St.

InLaudato Si’, Pope Francis too pointed to the radical nature of the saint’s approach to creation: “The poverty and austerity of Saint Francis were no mere veneer of asceticism, but something much more radical: a refusal to turn reality into an object simply to be used and controlled.” “He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace,” Pope Francis wrote.

  • All of those elements are present in how humans treat the world in which they live.
  • Francis’ teachings on creation today?
  • In explaining that perspective, theologian Delio in her 2003 book on the subject,A Franciscan View of Creation: Learning to Live in a Sacramental World, poses this question: What is our fundamental relationship to nature?
  • It’s a vision that sees creation as dynamic and each creature an aspect of God’s self-expression in the world, Delio says.
  • ” It believes in a reverent attitude toward nature and it roots ecological commitment in respecting all that comes from God.
  • It’s a message that Franciscan communities have been sharing for decades, and one that animated them to place care for the environment at the core of their ministries well beforeLaudato Si’.
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There, they issued theGubbio Charter— a declaration that synthesized Franciscan spirituality and modern science in calling for the global community to replace humanity’s exploitation of nature and a planet in peril with “an attitude of sharing, protection, respect and brotherhood among all creatures.” And today, groups likeFranciscan Action Networkhave made care for creation, including addressing climate change, focal points of their public policy advocacy and work.

Where can I learn more?

You can dig into the writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi, as well as early biographies, atFranciscantradition.org.

The global Franciscan family in 2014 created a website,Francis35.org, to mark the 35th anniversary of Francis of Assisi being named the patron saint of ecology.

There are also innumerable articles and books written about Francis and Franciscan ecology. Several of the authors, includingDelioandHoran, are regular contributors to NCR and Global Sisters Report. Some titles on Franciscan ecotheology to check out include:

  • 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.

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.

  1. Francesco was presented with two such possibilities while he was in his early twenties.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 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

Even though he is currently honored as a saint, Saint Francis of Assisi began his life as a convicted sinner in the town of Assisi, in the Duchy of Spoleto, Italy, in 1181. Sandro’s 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 area. At the time of his birth, Francis had nothing to worry about. He had been spoilt by his parents, who lavished him with great food, exquisite wine, and extravagant festivities.

  • Apart from that, he was admired for his charisma and narcissism.
  • Despite the fact that he was expected to follow his father into the family textile business, he was uninterested in a career in the textile industry.
  • Instead of thinking about becoming a merchant, he began daydreaming about being a knight.
  • Francis joyfully joined the cavalry when a battle broke out between Assisi and Perugia in 1202, and he fought valiantly.

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.

  1. He subsequently described the event as “a sensation of sweetness” in his mouth after kissing the leprosy.
  2. His previous way of life had lost all of its attractiveness to him.
  3. 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.
  4. The Voice of Christ purportedly instructed Francis to restore the Christian Church and to live a life of severe poverty.
  5. 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?

Immediately following his conversion experience in the church of San Damiano, Francis had another life-changing encounter that would forever change him. He sold a bolt of cloth from his father’s store, as well as his horse, in order to collect money for the reconstruction of the Christian church. Upon learning of his son’s deeds, his father grew enraged and took Francis to the local bishop, where he was sentenced to prison. The bishop instructed Francis to return his father’s money, to which he responded in an unprecedented manner: he took off his clothing and, with them, returned the money to his father, stating that God was now the only parent he acknowledged.

  1. In exchange for the rough tunic, the bishop sent Francis on his way, clad in his new, lowly garments.
  2. Unfortunately for him, this was not the case.
  3. He would henceforth live his life in accordance with the Gospel from this point forward.
  4. Francis and many others were concerned that the long-held apostolic values had been weakened since the Christian church was very wealthy, much like the individuals who headed it.
  5. He drew hundreds of fans to him because of his extraordinary charm.
  6. In his search for spiritual perfection, Francis pushed himself to the limit and was soon preaching in as many as five villages each day, imparting a new form of emotional and personal Christian religion that ordinary people could comprehend.
  7. Francis’ message, on the other hand, was broadcast far and wide, and countless of people were attracted by what they were hearing and seen.
  8. Thus, Francis became the world’s very first individual to be blessed with the stigmata, which means “sacred wounds.” They would be visible to him for the rest of his existence.
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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.

Bless Your Pets on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi remembers St. Francis’ life and works of charity.

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.

  • St.
  • 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.
  • Amen.

Go Deeper

Because of St. Francis’ compassion for animals, as stated in his Canticle of Creatures, a large number of people bring their pets to the church to be blessed on his feast day. Pets and animals in your own house can be blessed and prayed for as well. Whether in your backyard, garden, or somewhere else in your house, a vocal blessing and a sprinkling of holy water can be presented. It is possible to employ the following Pet Blessings: Thank you for being the creator of all living things, Lord God.

Saint Francis was moved by your actions and addressed everyone as brothers and sisters.

Allow it to live according to your will via the strength of your love.

The Lord our God is blessed in all of his creatures, and so are we.

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).

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. As a result, they owe compassion to others.
  4. Francis of Assisi and St.
  5. 2416).
  6. One of these individuals is St.
  7. 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 forward.

The tradition there dates back at least to 1930, and it was originally observed on January 17, but it was moved later in the year because 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, raised both pets from the dead, which is just one of the many resurrection stories associated with the saint.

When heretics refused to stop and listen to his words, it is said that St.

An alternate 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 faith in the third century (which means he was not martyred, but rather suffered for the faith) who lived during the Middle Ages.

The soldiers did not search the building because spiders had spun webs over the entrance as soon as Felix entered, giving the impression that it was unoccupied, preventing the soldiers from searching 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.

Feast of St Francis of Assisi in the United States

The Feast of St Francis of Assisi is celebrated on October 4th each year in several churches around the United States. It honors the life of Saint Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the patron saint of animals and the environment in the Catholic Church. It is a common day for people to get their pets “blessed.”

Is Feast of St Francis of Assisi a Public Holiday?

The Feast of St Francis of Assisi is not observed as an official holiday in the United States. Businesses are open during regular business hours. St Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment, and he is also known as the “Father of the Earth.” Maria Bibikova/iStockphoto.com/Maria Bibikova

What Do People Do?

Because of St Francis’ passion for animals, as reflected in his Canticle of Creatures, many youngsters in the United States bring their pets to the church on his feast day to be blessed by the priest. Because St Francis is the patron saint of animals, many churches have animal blessing rituals on or around October 4, which is traditionally celebrated on or around October 4. The services may involve a spoken blessing as well as holy water, and they are typically held in a location where a variety of animals can congregate.

Pets can include animals such as dogs, cats, fish, and birds.

Pet blessings are common in states such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington are among the states represented.

Around this time of year, several churches encourage guests to bring animal food or blankets to be donated to a local animal shelter, which is a kind gesture. Animal blessing ceremonies are not just held in Catholic churches on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi; certain Anglican churches also hold such rituals on this day. It is the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, which falls on October 13, that provides many educators, caregivers, and animal rights groups with a chance to educate youngsters about endangered or abused animals, as well as what can be done to help preserve these creatures.

Public Life

In the United States, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi is not observed as a federal public holiday.


During the late 12th and early 13th centuries, St Francis, the founder of the Catholic Church’s Franciscan order, lived in the country of Italy. He is noted for his charity to the needy and his readiness to tend to lepers, among other qualities. He will be remembered for his passion for animals and the outdoors. On October 4, 1226, St Francis died at the Italian town of Portiuncula. In 1228, Pope Gregory IX canonized St Francis and declared him a saint. The Pope also placed the cornerstone for the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, Italy, which will be completed in the coming years.


The following are some of the symbols linked with St Francis of Assisi:

  • Birds and other animals There is a sack of gold and expensive clothing at St Francis’ (of Assisi) feet
  • A crucifix with five rays and winged wings
  • Stigmata
  • Thorns on top of thorns
  • A lamp that is turned on
  • A blazing chariot of fire
  • Birds, deer, and a wolf are examples of such animals. A skull
  • A blazing bonfire

Around the time of St Francis of Assisi’s Feast Day, several of these symbols can be noticed.

About Feast of St Francis of Assisi in Other Countries

More information about the Feast of St Francis of Assisi may be found here.

Feast of St Francis of Assisi Observances

Despite the fact that we are carefully researching and updating our holiday dates, some information in the table above may be preliminary in nature. Please let us know if you discover an error on our website.

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