Feast Of St Francis Of Assisi

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 who was born in the 12th century and is the patron saint of animals and the environment.

He is also one of the more popular and well-known Christian saints. Symbols 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 Pietro 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, and the Third Order of St. Francis.

He is considered 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 the patron saint of Italy. He would later become associated with the natural environment and with animals.

This resulted in the custom of people bringing animals to the church on his feast day to have them blessed. This was all prior to the 13th century. St. Francis died 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 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 children.
  • 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 some 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 performs a Blessing of the Animals. These churches will set aside a portion of the service for this event. People will take their pets, or pictures of their pets, to receive a special blessing.

Another activity done on this holiday is that people 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.

Where is it celebrated?
Canada (Christian)United States (Christian)Australia (Christian) Show all
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 4 Friday
Next year (2025)
October 4 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 4 Wednesday