Observed on October 4th annually, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi is celebrated by many churches in the U.S and around the world. It commemorates the life of St. Francis, a saint that was born in the 12th century and is the patron saint of animals and the environment. He is one of the more popular and well-known Christian saints as well. Symbols that are often associated with St. Francis include a winged crucifix with five rays, birds, and animals.
The History Of The Feast Of St. Francis Of Assisi
St. Francis was born Giovanni di Petro di Bernardone in either 1181 or 1182 in Assisi. He was a Catholic friar, mystic, preacher, and deacon who founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s order of St. Clare, the Custody of the Holy Land, as well as the Third Order of St. Francis. He is considered to be one of the most venerated religious figures in all of Christendom by many scholars.
He was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on July 16, 1228, and was designated patron saint of Italy. He would later become associated with the natural environment and with animals. This resulted in the custom of people bring animals to the church on his feast day to have them blessed. And this was all prior to the 13th century. St. Francis would end up dying on October 3rd, 1226 at the age of 44-years old.
Facts About St. Francis
Since the history section of this holiday was a little bit brief, at least by our estimations, we thought that we’d list some of the amazing facts about St. Francis that we didn’t get to use. So if you’re looking to learn a little bit more about this saint, then check out the following bullet points below.
- St. Francis was one of seven kids.
- He was named after the people of France because his merchant father was a Francophile.
- At the age of 19, he served in a war and was a prisoner for a year.
- He reportedly received the stigmata after a 40-day fast in preparation for Michaelmas.
- His tomb was hidden by the Franciscans to protect it from Saracen invaders during the 13th century.
- After his tomb was hidden, it was lost for a time. It was finally rediscovered 600-years later in 1818.
Observing The Feast Of St. Francis Of Assisi
On this feast day, many people take their animals to a church that does a Blessing of the Animals. These churches will set aside a portion of the time during their service for this event. People will take their pets, or pictures of their pets, to receive a special blessing. Something else that’s done on this holiday is that people will take time out of their day to spend one on one time with their pets. People also use the hashtag #FeastOfStFrancis on social media to spread the word about this day.
When is Feast Of St Francis Of Assisi?
|This year (2023)||October 4 (Wednesday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2024)||October 4 (Friday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2022)||October 4 (Tuesday)||Multiple dates - more|