Francis of Assisi

Also known as
Francis Bernardone; il Poverello

Memorial
4 October

Profile
Son of Pietro Bernadone, a rich cloth merchant. Though he had a good education and became part of his father's business, he also had a somewhat misspent youth. Street brawler and some-time soldier. Captured during a conflict between Assisiand Perugia, he spent over a year as a prisoner of war. During this time he had a conversion experience, including a reported message from Christ calling him to leave this worldly life. Upon release, Francis began taking his religion seriously.

He took the Gospels as the rule of his life, Jesus Christ as his literal example. He dressed in rough clothes, begged for his sustenance, and preached purity and peace. His family disapproved, and his father disinherited him; Francis formally renounced his wealth and inheritance. He visited hospitals, served the sick, preached in the streets, and took all men and women as siblings. He began to attract followers in 1209, and with papal blessing, founded the Franciscans based on a simple statment by Jesus: "Leave all and follow me." In 1212 Clare of Assisi became his spiritual student, which led to the founding of the Poor Clares. Visited and preached to the Saracens. Composed songs and hymns to God and nature. Lived with animals, worked with his hands, cared for lepers, cleaned churches, and sent food to thieves. In 1221 he resigned direction of the Franciscans.

While in meditation on Mount Alvernia in the Apennines in September 1224, Francis received the stigmata, which periodically bled during the remaining two years of his life. This miracle has a separate memorial on 17 September.

In the Middle Ages people who believed to be possessed by Beelzebub especially called upon the intercession of Saint Francis, the theory being that he was the demon's opposite number in heaven.

Born
1181 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy as Francis Bernardone

Died
4 October 1226 at Portiuncula, Italy of natural causes; relics in Assisi, Italy

Canonized
16 July 1228 by Pope Gregory IX

Patronage
against dying alone; against fire; animal welfare societies; animals; Assisi Italy; birds; Catholic Action; Colorado; archdiocese of Denver Colorado;dying alone; ecologists; ecology; environment; environmentalism; environmentalists; families; fire; Franciscan Order; Freising, Germany; Italy; dioceseof Kottapuram, India; lacemakers; laceworkers; diocese of Lancaster, England; Massa, Italy; merchants; diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey; Nambe Indian Pueblo; needle workers; peace; Quibdo, Choco, Colombia; diocese of Salina, Kansas; archdiocese of San Francisco California;Sante Fe New Mexico; archdiocese of Sante Fe New Mexico; Sorbo, Italy; tapestry workers; zoos

Representation
birds; deer; fish; lamb; skull; stigmata; wolf

Prayers
Canticle of Brother Sun
Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer by...
Novena to Saint Francis of Assisi
Prayer to...
Prayer I by...
Prayer II by...
Prayer for Animals
Prayer for the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi
Prayer in Honor of the Sacred Stigmata
Way of the Cross by...

Additional Information
Goffine's Devout Instructions
Google Directory
Vikipedio esperanto
Lives of the Saints, John J Crawley
New Catholic Dictionary
Mira circa nos, Pope Gregory IX
Auspicato Concessum, Pope Leo XIII
Sacra Propediem, Pope Benedict XV
Rite expiatis, Pope Pius XI
Meditation on Saint Francis of Assisi, Pope John XXIII
Homily on Saint Francis of Assisi, Pope John Paul II
Homily on Saint Francis of Assisi, Pope John Paul II
The Will of Saint Francis
Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year
Letter Written to all the Faithful
God's Troubadour, by Sophie Jewett
Rule of Saint Francis
In God's Garden, by Amy Steedman
Life and Legends of Saint Francis Of Assisi
Saint Francis, by G K Chesterton

Translate
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Readings
Alms are an inheritance and a justice which is due to the poor and which Jesus has levied upon us.

- Saint Francis of Assisi
Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.

- Saint Francis of Assisi
It was through his archangel, Saint Gabriel, that the Father above made known to the the holy and glorious Virgin Mary that the worthy, holy and glorious Word of the Father would come from heaven and take from her womb the real flesh of our human frailty. Though he was wealthy beyond reckoning, he still willingly chose to be poor with his blessed mother. And shortly before his passion he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. Then he prayed to his Father saying: "Father, if it be possible, let this cup be taken from me."

Nevertheless, he reposed his will in the will of his Father. The Father willed that his blessed and glorious Son, whom he gave to us and who was born for us, should through his own blood offer himself as a sacrificial victim on the altar of the cross. This was to be done not for himself through whom all things were made, but for our sins. It was intended to leave us an example of how to follow in his footsteps. And he desires all of us to be saved through him, and to receive him with pure heart and chaste body.

Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father's children who do his work.

- from a letter written to all the faithful by Saint Francis of Assisi
Jesus is happy to come with us, as truth is happy to be spoken, as life to be lived, as light to be lit, as love is to be loved, as joy to be given, as peace to be spread.

- Saint Francis of Assisi

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