Saint Francis of Assisi
Saint Day: 4 October
Saint Francis of Assisi was a Catholic friar who gave up a life of wealth to live a life of poverty. He established the Franciscan Order of friars and the women's Order of the Poor Ladies.
Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182. He grew up leading a privileged life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. Francis loved to learn and sing songs as a boy. His father wanted him to become a businessman and taught him about the French culture.
About the age of nineteen Francis went to battle against the nearby town of Perugia. Francis was captured and taken prisoner. He was held prisoner in a dungeon for a year before his father paid the ransom and he was set free.
Over the next few years Francis began to see visions from God that changed his life. The first vision was when he was sick with a high fever. At first he thought that God had called him to fight in the Crusades. However, he had another vision that told him to help the sick. Finally, when praying in a church, Francis heard God tell him to "repair my church, which is falling in ruins."
Francis gave all his money to the church. His father became very angry with him. Francis then left his father's home and took a vow of poverty.
As Francis lived his life of poverty and preached to people about the life of Jesus Christ, people began to follow him. By 1209, he had around 11 followers. He had one basic rule which was "To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps".
Francis was known for his love of nature and animals. There are many stories about Saint Francis and his preaching to animals. It is said that one day he was talking to some birds when they began to sing together. Then they flew into the sky and formed the sign of a cross.
It was also said that Francis could tame wild animals. One story tells of a vicious wolf in the town of Gubbio that was killing people and sheep. The people of the town were frightened and didn't know what to do. Francis went to the town to confront the wolf. At first the wolf growled at Francis and prepared to attack him. However, Francis made the sign of the cross and told the wolf not to hurt anyone else. The wolf then became tame and the town was safe.
Francis became ill and spent the last few years of his life mostly blind. He died in 1226 while singing Psalm 141. He was declared a saint of the Catholic Church only two years after his death.
Our Class Saints
Nursery - Saint Mary
Patron Saint of all human beings
Reception - Saint Joseph
Patron Saint of the Universal Church
Year 1 - Saint Anne
Patron Saint of mothers
Year 2 - Saint Paul
Patron Saint of missions and theologians
Year 3 - Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Calcutta
Year 4 - Saint Bernadette
Patron Saint of illness, the sick, shepherds and poverty
Year 5 - Saint John Henry Newman
Patron Saint of conversion
Year 6 - Saint John Paul II
Patron Saint of array of hope