Feast of St Francis of Assisi
The Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi commemorates the life of St Francis, who was born in the 12th century. St Francis is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. The Feast of St Francis is a popular day for owners to have their pets ‘blessed’. St Francis founded the Catholic Church’s Franciscan order. He lived in Italy in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. He was generous to the poor and ministered the lepers. Therefore, he was well remembered for his deeds as well as for his love for animals and nature. St Francis of Assisi was born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone in 1181/1182. He was informally known as Francesco. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s order of Saint Claire, the Third order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. St Francis died in Portiuncula (Porziuncola), Italy on October 4, 1226 and was pronounced a saint in 1228 by Pope Gregory IX. The foundation stone for the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Italy was laid by the Pope. Today, the church, also known as the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Feast of St Francis of Assisi is celebrated by Catholics worldwide on October 4 every year.