Story of St. Francis

Though we are not affiliated with the Catholic Church or any Franciscan organization, we do believe in the philosophy of St. Francis and his lifelong example as one who loved compassionately and lived in service of Christ and his fellow man.

St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Giovanni di Bernardone was born in 1181 in Assisi, Italy, to a wealthy cloth merchant and his French-born wife. His father nicknamed young Giovanni “Francesco” or “The Frenchman” and his nickname soon replaced his baptismal one.

Young Francis grew up in opulence and adored a life of finery and fun. But throughout his youth, he was confronted with poverty and it began to slowly and profoundly affect his worldview. He often gave away his money to the beggars looking for alms. Francis’ father, however, was not pleased and severely punished him.

In 1201, he joined a military expedition and was taken prisoner for a year. It’s possible that his spiritual conversion was a gradual process rooted in this experience, as he soon was devoting more time and resources tending to the poor, including nursing leprosy victims. After he renounced his father and his fortune, Francis lived as a beggar in the countryside and soon devoted himself to a life of poverty.

Many of the stories that surround St. Francis deal with his love of animals, his caring for the natural world, and his dedication to the poor and the suffering.

The Prayer of St. Francis

“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;

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.”