28 April 2014
The Story of Saint Francis of Assisi
Many people are familiar with or have traveled to San Francisco, a major city in California, but there is a story behind the city name; the story of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. The origin of the word San Francisco is Saint Francis, meaning that the city was named after this great saint.
Long ago, in the year of 1181, a baby boy was born on the outskirts of Assisi, Italy. There is a legend that this boy, who we know as Francis, was actually born in a stable with animals, like Jesus. The baby’s father, Peter Bernadone, had such great experiences in France and loved it so much that he named his son Francis, after the country (Hefferman 167).
As a child, Francis, was a very bad boy. He did not always lead a good, faith filled life. Some said he was rude, spoiled, and inappropriate (Welborn 206). It was not until God became a place in his heart that he became the saint-like person we look up to today.
In Francis’ early twenties, he took part in a war between Assisi and Perugia. At one major battle, Assisi had many casualties, and all who survived the attack were taken prisoner by the opposing soldiers. It was the time in which Francis needed the most help, guidance, and hope that God came to Francis. One day Francis started to have visions about the Lord. God called Francis and cried, “Go, Francis, and repair my house, for which as you see is falling into ruin” (Robinson). At first, Francis believed that God meant for him to build a new church to replace the one that was falling down, so when Francis was released from prison, he built a new church. Again, God called upon Francis, “Go Francis, and repair my house, for which as you see is falling into ruin” (Robinson). But this time, Francis understood what God intended for him to do. Francis’ vocation was to bring people back to the faith, for people those days were lacking in the faith. By showing acts of kindness, selflessness, and generosity, Francis believed others would see the face of Christ in him.
Francis was inspired to perform his vocation for the rest of his life. He bravely changed his life around for God. He devoted his entire life to God and others, and became Christ like through his actions towards others. Francis gave up all of his wealth to the poor, and lived himself among the poor. Also, he spent many years caring for the lepers and the sick, and would say, “When one serves the poor, he serves Christ Himself” (Lovasik 91). Francis traveled to other small parishes to preach to the members, and carried out the Word of God. He even founded the Franciscan Order, (Grimm) and with the help of Saint Clare, founded the order called the Poor Clares (Lovasik 91). Francis went from being a wealthy and rude teen to a kind, caring, and loving saint as we know it.
The reason many prayer cards have pictures of animals near Francis is because he blessed...