Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

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A mural of St. Francis is on the wall of San Francisco de Asís Church in Flagstaff. (Lisa Dahm/CATHOLIC SUN)
A statue of St. Francis sits on the right side of the altar in San Francisco de Asís Parish in Flagstaff. (Lisa Dahm/CATHOLIC SUN)

Oct. 4

The son of a wealthy Italian merchant, Francis was a playboy who experienced a profound conversion after going to war for Assisi, being imprisoned, and enduring a debilitating illness.

He renounced his family and riches, and lived a life of radical poverty and service because he believed Christ had asked him to. He founded the new mendicant Order of Friars Minor, or Franciscans, and helped found the Poor Clares and Franciscan Third Order.

Pope Pius XII said Francis could be called “a second Christ” and in 2013 Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took this medieval saint’s name when he was elected pope.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Francis is the patron of animals, environmentalists, merchants and Catholic Action, and also a patron of Italy.

San Francisco de Asís Parish and School in Flagstaff, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bagdad, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Seligman, St. Francis of Assisi Native American Mission in Ak Chin and St. Francis of Assisi Native American Mission in Scottsdale and St. Francis Catholic Cemetery are all under his patronage. He is also the patron of several religious communities serving in the diocese, including:

He is also the patron of several religious communities serving in the diocese, including: