Ecology / Francis of Assisi, 1181–1226, Feast Day: October 4
Perhaps the best-loved saint in the world, Francis was a frivolous, wealthy young man who went off to war and was taken prisoner. On his return to his family, he had a complete change of heart, renouncing the material world in favor of nature and simplicity. He founded the Franciscan religious order devoted to love of God and all his creatures. A mystic, he could communicate with animals and was the first saint to receive the stigmata.
Other patronages: Italy, Assisi, San Francisco, Santa Fe; animals; animal welfare societies, zoos; lace workers, merchants, needle workers, tapestry workers
Invoked: against dying alone, fire