St. Francis of Assisi was born in 1181 in Assisi, Italy. With the original name of Giovanni Francesco di Bernadone, St. Francis was born into a wealthy family and enjoyed worldly possessions in his younger years. He fought as a knight for his hometown against rival Italian cities. When he was about twenty, he was taken prisoner during a battle and was held captive for a year in Perugia. While in prison, he became sick and began to have visions of eternity. He also began to hear God’s calling to rebuild God’s House. After his release, Francis denounced his riches and turned to the life of poverty and service of God. He began to travel by foot and preached the word of God to everyone. St. Francis followed a group of followers called the Franciscans. St. Francis loved all of God’s creation, thus he became the patron saint of animals. His feast day is on October 4.
Prayer of Saint 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 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