Saint Francis of Assisi was born in 1182, the son of a wealthy merchant, into a world of extreme social, cultural, and moral upheaval. His youth was spent in extravagance, drinking, and partying with his friends. After his capture in battle and subsequent illness, Francis gradually turned away from his dissolute life, finding joy in God alone. One day, while praying in the dilapidated church of San Damiano, he heard the image of Christ on the cross speak to him: “Francis, go and repair My Church.” Francis obeyed the Lord’s command and embraced a life of radical poverty for the love of God. Through his joyful simplicity and example, the “Little Poor Man of Assisi” gathered a band of followers around him and revitalized the Church and the world. To this day, the spirit of St. Francis continues to draw people of all faiths to Jesus Christ through love, joy, and simplicity.
Saint Francis, pray for us!