Saint Francis of Assisi
dedicate this page to Saint Francis of Assisi, patron Saint of
the animals. If all human beings were able to love animals like
he did, this would certainly be a better world and there would
not be so many homeless animals and endangered species disappearing
from the face of the Earth.
Francis of Assisi's Story ~
was born in 1182, in Assisi, a town in the Perugia province,
Umbria region, central Italy. Assisi became part of the Italian
kingdom in 1860.
it is the place where St. Francis was born, founded his order
and died in 1226, Assisi became a famous Roman Catholic shrine
and a popular pilgrimage site.
of San Francesco (St. Francis), which began to be constructed
in 1228, just two years after the saint's death, being completed
in 1253, is Assisi most famous landmark.
was also the birthplace of St. Clare (Santa Clara) in 1194, the
founder of the religious order named the Poor Clares.
- His Life
D'Assisi, baptized Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardonne, later renamed
Francesco, was born in 1181, in Assisi, Duchy of Spoleto. He
died on October 3, 1226 and was buried on October 4. He was canonized
on July 15, 1228 and his day is celebrated on October 4. He is
known as the protector of the animals because of his love to
nature and devotion to animals.
was the founder of the Franciscan orders of men and women and
leader of the church reform movements of the early 13th century.
Francis took part in a war between Assisi and Perugia. He was
captured and spent almost a year in prison. After his release,
he embraced a life of poverty.
by little a small group began to form around Francis and he wrote
in a few words a form of life and rule for himself and his brothers.
Franciscan rule of life, which has not survived, set as the aim
of the new life, "To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus
Christ and to walk in his footsteps."
considered all nature as the mirror of God and as so many steps
to God. He called all creatures his "brothers" and
Francis began a second order for women that became known as the
Poor Clares. He gave a religious habit similar to his own to
a lady of Assisi, named Clara, later known as St. Clare of Assisi,
and then lodged her and a few companions in the church of S.
Damiano, where women of Assisi joined her. For those who could
not leave their families and homes he eventually formed the Third
Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance, a lay fraternity that,
without withdrawing from the world or taking religious vows,
would carry out the principles of Franciscan life.
vision and the stigmata of the Crucified -
the Summer of 1224, two years before his death, Francis went
to La Verna (Alvernia), near Assisi, to celebrate the feast of
the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) and to
prepare for St. Michael's Day (September 29).
one morning, about the time of the feast of the Exaltation of
the Cross (September 14), he beheld a figure coming toward him
from heaven. According to St. Bonaventure, general of the Franciscans
from 1257 to 1274 and an important thinker of the 13th century,
"as it stood above him, he saw that it was a man and yet
a Seraph with six wings; his arms were extended and his feet
conjoined, and his body was fixed to a cross. Two wings were
raised above his head, two were extended as in flight, and two
covered the whole body. The face was beautiful beyond all earthly
beauty, and it smiled gently upon Francis".
this vision brought Francis great joy, he felt a deep sorrow
due to the sight of the suffering and crucified figure. When
the vision disappeared, it left not only a greater ardor of love,
but also marked him with the stigmata of the Crucified (marks
resembling the wounds on the crucified body of Jesus Christ).
rest of his life, Francis took the greatest care to hide the
stigmata, even his most devoted followers and those who were
constantly at his side knew nothing of it for a long time.
vision, Francis lived in pain and almost blind due to an eye
disease he had contracted in the East for two more years. He
was buried temporarily in the church of S. Giorgio, at Assisi.
In 1230 his body was transferred to the lower church of the basilica
that was being erected in his memory.
Francis and the animals -
love for the animals is most-known aspect of his legend and it
has encouraged a recent pope to proclaim him patron saint of
the ecological movement.
received from God the great honor of having creatures obey him
and he, whom creatures obey in this manner, is certainly a holy
to the Reading Corner Menu |
page was created on: July 6, 2001.
Last updated on: September 8th 2001.
] [ Home ]
midi "Clair de Lune" from the Suite Bergamasque by
Claude Debussy, from
~ Graphics by: Graphics
~ Mary's Little Lamb ~ Snow script
by Dynamic Drive ~
I cannot link back to the sites where I got these texts from
because I deleted the links by mistake when I updated this page.