Saint Francis of Assisi was born in Assisi in 1181 and he died in 1226. He is the patron saint of animals, merchants and ecology. His feast day is October 4 (“Saint Francis of Assisi”). When Francis was born, his father was away on a business trip to France, and his mother had him baptized Giovanni.(“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica) Francis’s father was Pietro di Bernardone, who was a cloth merchant. His father loved France, and wanted Francis to be like him, “a man of business, a cloth merchant like he was, and he especially wanted a son who would love France just as much as him” (“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica). Pietro was not happy about his son being baptized; he didn’t want his son to be a man of God (“Saint Francis of Assisi” ). His mother was lady Pica who may have come from France (“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica).Saint Francis of Assisi was a natural born leader. Everyone loved him, he was always cheerful and happy and he was charming. He fell in love with France just as his father hoped. “He loved the songs of France, the romance of France and especially the free adventurous troubadours of France” (“Saint Francis of Assisi”). But as Francis got older he began to lead a life of sin. “As he grew up, Francis became the leader of a crowd of young people who spent their nights in wild parties.” “Francis himself said, “I lived in sin” during that time” (“Saint Francis of Assisi”). In 1202, Francis was a part of a war between Assisi and Perugia. He was captured and held prisoner for about a year. After he was released he became sick. When he finally got better he joined the papal forces under Count Gentile against the emperor Frederick II in Apulia in late 1205. On his way to battle he had a dream or vision and he turned back. he dedicated himself to solitude and prayer so he could find the lord’s purpose for him(“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica). Francis was converted to a man of God through many different events. Francis was riding on horse one day and he stopped at a leper and kissed the leper’s hand. Another event is one day Francis was praying at an ancient church at San Damiano when he heard Christ talking to him from the crucifix. Christ said, “Francis repair my church” The church was a crumbling and old church. Francis left the church, went home and took fabric from his father and sold it for money to repair the church. Pietro, Francis’s father, considered this stealing. “Pietro dragged Francis before the bishop and in front of the whole town demanded that Francis return the money and renounce all rights as his heir”(“Saint Francis of Assisi”) . The bishop told Francis that God would provide. This was enough for Francis. Francis then returned the money and gave his father the clothes he was wearing because he gave them to him. Francis was now completely free. He went back to the church and begged for stones to repair the church. Francis fixed the church by hand. But God wanted the Church, capital C, repaired (“Saint Francis of Assisi”). “Probably no one in history has set out as seriously as Francis did to imitate the life of Jesus Christ and to carry out so literally Jesus’s work in Jesus’s own way” (“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica). Francis preached to the people of the town. He was not licensed to do this but did anyway. He eventually drew in followers who wanted to live as he did, completely devoted to God. Francis wrote “When The lord had entrusted brothers to me, nobody told me how to treat them;but the Most High revealed to me personally that I ought to live according to the norm of the Holy Gospel” (Cunningham, 14). Francis created their simple rule “To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps” (“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica). Francis, not long after establishing his first 12 disciples and their simple rule, he lead his followers to Rome to get approval from Pope Innocent III, the pope at the time (“Saint Francis of Assisi”) Francis said “I had it all written in a few simple words, and the lord pope approved it” (Cunningham, 14). April 16, 1210, is the official date that the Franciscan Order was founded (“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica). Saint Francis was so devoted to God and was so holy, and followed Jesus’s ways so strictly that he was given the stigmata of the crucified. The stigmata of the crucified is when the wounds of Jesus’s crucifixion appear on the body. God gifted Saint Francis with this stigmata of the crucified. Francis was in prayer during the morning on September 14, 1224, at the mountain retreat, La Verna. As he was praying he had a vision of a “man and yet a Seraph, with six wings” (“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica). This figure was being crucified, and it brought Francis great joy, but also an extremely deep sorrow. When the vision had passed he was marked with the stigmata of the crucified (“Saint Francis of Assisi” Britannica). Years of poverty and wandering had made Francis ill.(“Saint Francis of Assisi”) Francis also began going blind. Saint Francis of Assisi died on October 4, 1226, at the age of 45. (“Saint Francis of Assisi”) I think Saint Francis of Assisi is an amazing saint who gave everything he had to follow the ways of Jesus. “Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the church by taking the gospel literally – not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance” (Miller, Fr. Don). I find that Saint Francis is inspiring and incredibly devoted to God, and followed Jesus so strictly and passionately, that he is without a doubt an amazing saint. I chose Saint Francis of Assisi because he was so devoted to God, and he was so joyful and compassionate. He is an amazing example and I think it is amazing how he lead a life of partying and “evil,” and he was able to turn himself around and become an amazing person and a saint. He shows that it is possible to turn a new leaf. He teaches many amazing lessons and that is why I chose him. I would love to be so devoted to something like Francis was devoted to God. I admire that he was able turn away from evil and a life of sin. I admire that Francis was so passionate and joyful, and I find that Saint Francis had many amazing qualities, and his passion and happiness are the two that stood out the most to me.