ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI
FEAST DAY – 4th OCTOBER
Francis Bernardone was born in 1181, at Assisi, Umbria, Italy. He abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. Saint Francis founded the Catholic Church’s Franciscan Order. As a Catholic friar, deacon, mystic, and preacher, he founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, the Third Order of St. Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Once his community of the Franciscan Order was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs.
Francis is known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of a Seraphic angel in a religious ecstasy, which would make him the first person in Christian tradition to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142 .
He is the patron saint for ecologists. He is remembered for his generous spirit towards the poor and his dedication to minister to lepers. He is also known, for his love for animals and nature. His feast day 4th October, is a popular day for pets.He died at Portiuncula, Italy, on 4th October 1226. Pope Gregory IX pronounced Saint Francis a saint, on 16th July, in 1228. The Pope also laid the foundation stone for the Basilica of St Francis, in Assisi, Italy. The Church, also known as Basilica of San Francesco dé Assisi is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
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.