- Feast Day: October 4
- Patron of: Animals & Birds, Ecology, The Poor and Peace
- Italy, 1181 - 1226
A chosen life of wandering barefoot and begging for food sounds pretty crazy, but that’s exactly the life Saint Francis chose. After giving up his lofty lifestyle and leaving all of his possessions behind, Francis roved the Italian countryside to spread God’s message of love. Because of his affection for nature and all created things, our inviting Oración de san Francisco de Asís Prayer Pillowcase, (The Prayer of Saint Francis) pictures Saint Francis surrounded by animals.
God’s creatures helped Francis live the difficult lifestyle he embraced; when nobody wanted to hear him speak, he would preach to the animals and trees instead! The wolf in this image recalls the tale of the starving creature who once terrorized an Italian village, gobbling up its food and children. The people were furious and frightened at the violence. Francis turned this incident into a teachable moment by speaking to the villagers about God’s forgiveness. He made peace with the wolf and the villagers joined a pact: they would feed the wolf for the rest of its life and the wolf in return would protect their city.
We may not be terrorized by wild animals, but we each face our own challenges every day. The serene picture and companion Oración de san Francisco de Asís on this Prayer Pillowcase can be a reminder to us all to ask God for His guidance each and every day. It can also inspire us to search for the joy and peace that Saint Francis knew in loving and serving God!