Who is St. Francis of Assisi?

What do you believe in?  How do you protect the earth and its creatures?  Who was St. Francis of Assisi?

St. Francis of Assisi is known to be the patron saint of animals, but he is so much more.  He restored the life of the priests to be more Christ like after he had a vision in 1204 to live in poverty.   

Saint Francis of Assisi

He performed three known and celebrated miracles.  He went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan and to put an end to the Crusades.

St. Francis was responsible for creating the first Nativity in 1223, the tableau of the animals, Mary, Joseph, shepherds and Baby Jesus in a manager that is part of every Christmas today.  

Nativity with Animals

St. Francis is the first recorded person to receive the ‘stigmata’, or five marks of Christ in 1224. Stigmata is a term used in Christian mysticism to describe the manifestations of bodily wounds, scars and pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ such as the hands, wrists, and feet. (Source: Wikipedia)  

Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27

St. Francis came from a wealthy family and paid for the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke to be translated and written in Italian for better understanding. He was a reformer.

Scenes from st. Francis Life

The Order of St. Francis was recognized by the Pope Innocent III in 1210, only two years after petition was made to become an order.  

He is one of two Patron saints of Italy, and of Ecology because of his love of animals and the natural environment. He believed that “nature itself was a mirror of God.”  

St. Francis Death

St. Francis was a wealthy youth, had no formal education, but wrote beautiful poetry. St. Francis may not have written these words that are attributed to him, but they are repeated all over the world.

A prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me 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; and where there is sadness, joy.

“O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Amen.

“And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.”  Genesis 1:24

What do you believe in?  How do you protect the earth and its creatures? 

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