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Saint Francis Of Assisi - The Man For Whom The Pope Is Named

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With Pope Francis paying us a visit in the upcoming months, we thought it would be beneficial to share a blog with you about the saint whom which Archbishop and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose as his Papal name, Saint Francis of Assisi.

Francis lived during the 12th century with his six siblings in Assisi, Italy. Francis was born into a wealthy family and lived his young life with many riches, friends and pleasures. He is commonly known for the story of his encounter with a beggar. In this story, Francis is selling goods in the market when a beggar comes and asks Francis for his charity. Francis initially turned him down, then feeling regret, ran after the beggar to give him everything he owned. Francis was ridiculed and scolded by his friends and family.

After many years of trials and tribulations, Francis gradually grew deeper in his spiritual life. As Francis got into his 20s, he truly shifted toward a life of poverty. He retreated from silly entertainment and lavish clothing to nurse lepers and beg with the poor at the doors of churches. After renouncing his father’s riches, Francis went to the Assisi countryside with absolutely nothing and spent his time restoring old churches.

Francis followed his spiritual calling by living life through Christ’s earthly intentions. Francis believed that God was best seen through beautiful nature, even preaching to the birds and calling earthly elements our brothers and sisters in Christ. Through focusing on nature and living a life of poverty, Francis was joined by followers who admired his love for God and a life of less materials. Today, this is known as the Franciscan Order.

Francis of Assisi was named a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1979 as the Patron Saint of Ecology. Pope John Paul II once said, “As a friend of the poor who was loved by God's creatures, Saint Francis invited all of creation – animals, plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister Moon – to give honor and praise to the Lord. The poor man of Assisi gives us striking witness that when we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples.”

Pope Francis chose to honor Saint Francis Of Assisi because of his focus on the poor’s well-being and love for God’s creatures. Pope Francis strives to treat all as equals therefore pushing the wealthy to help the poor. We are all one. We will all be one at World Meeting Of Families when Pope Francis graces us with his presence this fall.

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