St. Francis of Assisi
Italy 1181 - 1226

St. Francis in paper maché

After a wealthy and self indulgent youth, Francis had a change of heart and embraced poverty, preaching and serving the sick. He founded a religious order; the Franciscans and assisted in the founding of the Poor Clares. He wrote songs and hymns to God and Nature, lived with animals and is said to have preached to birds and animals. He received the stigmata two years before his death.

He is the patron of many things including birds, animals, animal welfare groups, ecology, environmentalists, peace, dying alone.

Lord, make us instruments
of your peace.
Where there is hatred
let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

Excerpt from the Prayer of St. Francis

Further information on St. Francis of Assisi can be found in, many monographs, Lives of the Saints, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Saints Index on Catholic Forum or Saints Index on Catholic.org.

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