Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi St Francis in Meditation
by Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664)

San Francesco 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.

Saint Francis was the founder of the Franciscan orders of men and women and leader of the church reform movements of the early 13th century.

In 1202, 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.

Little 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.

The early 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."

Francis considered all nature as the mirror of God and as so many steps to God. He called all creatures his "brothers" and "sisters".

In 1212 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.

Reflections on Prayer
by Rev. Glenda Meakin
The Christian Ring Creation and the Theory of Relativity