By: Hannah Carlisle and Emma Sandman
St. Francis’s real name is Francesco. His nickname was Francis. He was born in 1181 in duchy of Spoleto (Italy). He was a sinner in his early life. Pietro di Bernardone was his father, who was a cloth merchant and owned farmland in Assisi, and Lady Pica was his mother, who was a Frenchwoman. He had a passionate love for animals, the French language, and drank and partied a lot. As a boy, he loved to learn to sing and dance. He loved to party. He was expected to take over the family business, but he did not want to. In 1202, he took part in a war between Assisi and Perugia. There, he was held prisoner for almost a year and when he was releases, he became sick, leading him closer to God. . St. Francis died on October 3, 1226 at the age of 45.He died while singing Psalm 141.
St. Francis was the founder of the Franciscan orders of the Friars Minor, The woman’s order of St. Clare, and the lay 3rd order. He was the leader of the movement of evangelical poverty. He also had visions of God that told him to fix the Christian church and live in poverty. He had many visits from God, too. The first time was when he had a high fever and God told him to join the crusades. He had another vison telling him to help the poor in which he did. Francis fixed and restored churches and chapels. St Francis helped and cared for the poor, old, ill, and animals. He also helped people by preaching to people to reform their lives. He dedicated himself to solitude and prayer, so he might know God’s will for him. Pope John Paul II recognized him as the patron saint for ecology. He is also the patron saint of Italy.
St. Francis’s feast day is October 4.St. Francis gave up his wealthy life for a life of poverty. He is remembered for his generosity to poor and his willingness to minister to the lepers. He is also considered the first Italian poet by literary critics. He is known for his charm. He is also known for his love for nature and animals. Francis' final years were filled with suffering as well as humiliation. Praying to share in Christ's passion he had a vision received the stigmata, the marks of the nails and the lance wound that Christ suffered, in his own body. Pope Gregory IX pronounced St. Francis a saint. He was canonized as a saint on July 16, 1228.On his feast day, some people in the U.S. bring their pet and get him/her blessed. Some people ask people to bring blankets or animal food to local animal shelters. On the feast day, many educators, caregivers, and animal rights organizations teach children about endangered or abused animals, and what can be done to help save these animals.
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