Francis was born to Assisi in 1182, in the full of the ferment of the communal age. Son of a merchant, from young aspired to enter in the circle of the small city nobility. For this reason he sought glory through military exploits, until he understood that he had to serve only the Lord. He gave himself up to a life of penitence and solitude in total poverty, after having abandoned his family and his earthly possessions. In 1209, following a further inspiration, he began to preach the Gospel in the cities, while the first disciples joined him. With them he went to Rome to have Pope Innocent III approve his choice of life. From 1210 to 1224 he wandered through the streets and squares of Italy: everywhere crowds flocked to him and crowds of disciples that he called "brothers", ie "brothers". He then welcomed the young Clare who started the Second Franciscan Order, and founded a Third Order for those who wished to live as penitents, with rules suitable for lay people. He died the evening of October 3, 1226 at the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi. He was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on July 16, 1228. Pope Pius XII proclaimed him and St. Catherine of Siena the Primary Patrons of Italy on June 18, 1939. The mortal remains of the man who became known as the "Poor Man of Assisi" are venerated in the Basilica dedicated to him in Assisi, specifically in the crypt of the lower church.
Patronage: Italy, Ecologists, Animals, Birds, Cub Scouts/Coccins. AGESCI
Etymology: Francis = free, from ancient German
Emblem: Wolf, lamb and birds
Roman Martyrology: Memory of St. Francis, who, after a carefree youth, converted to an evangelical life in Assisi, Umbria, in order to serve Jesus Christ whom he had met in particular in the poor and disinherited, making himself poor. He joined the Friars Minor in community. He preached the love of God to all, even as far as the Holy Land, seeking in his words as in his actions the perfect following of Christ, and wanted to die on the bare earth.