Born to a Wealthy merchant and a devoted mother, St.Francis was born in Late 1881 or Early 1882. He was christened Giovanni, but his father did not like him to be called after a saint and he called him Francesco. He had a very lavish and spoilt childhood. He had everything he wanted and did whatever he wished. Everybody abided by his thoughts. He too had an upper hand in the business like his dad and finally grew ultra rich. But he wanted to be a knight.
So when he was called for war, he went and gave his best. He was so happy about it but at the end he was imprisoned and left the prison after one year for a huge ransom. But he refused to change ways after that too. He was always whiling away the time when suddenly he had the call.
He was called away for the second time to war and he was so happy to go and made a golden armour to protect himself but God had other plans. He told Francis not to go. Francis obeyed to everyone’s astonishment. From that day he used to spend time alone and pray and wept for his sins. One day he came face to face with a leper and he choose to kiss the leper’s hand without disgust. After going a distance, he found the leper vanish in a trance. It was by then he realized it was not just a leper but the maker.
He started to pray even more. Once when he was praying God advised him to renovate the church. He thought the church he was praying needs to be repaired and he started collecting goods from his father and sold them to give to the church. This infuriated his father and he denounced his son. He became even free now and started praying more. Now he started to preach too.
His preach was so good that once a hundred birds stood still till he finished. And he spoke so softly that a wolf which once killed many for its food was made a pet to an entire village and it was provided for its living. Everything was going on well till he realized many people were seeking his guidance. He collectd them and formed a brotherhood, the Franciscan Order.
He went to Pope Innocent and asked his permission to preach which was denied immediately. Then God appeared in the dream of the Pope to grant him the rights to preach and then he started preaching. He was so soft to the nature too that once when he was to be treated by fire, he spoke to it for a long time and when the treatment was over, he swore the fire did no harm.
He was a patron of animals, ecology and merchants. At the end of his days he decided to share the passion of Christ, the pain of crucifixion through prayers and he shared the pain delightfully. Finally he breathed his last in 1226.
He was conferred Saint in the year 1228.
Feast Day is on 4 October.
The Peace Prayer of 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;
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.