Saint of the Month
St. Francis of Assisi: Lover of all life
Regan Kraus - Student Journalist
Knight Writer - Lourdes Academy
When people think of saints, they imagine someone who serves people in need and puts others before him or herself. It is important to recognize that humans are not the only creatures who saints want to protect. Animals are also earth’s precious creatures, and St. Francis of Assisi recognized this.
According to biograpgy.com, St. Francis was not a typical Catholic. He would attend parties and drink before he became a saint. St. Francis even went to prison for ransom, and it was during that time that he began seeing visions from God. After nearly a year, St. Francis was released. Afterward, he began hearing the voice of God telling him to live a life of poverty and help fix the Catholic church. St. Francis later became known as the patron saint for ecologists because of his love of nature.
On Oct. 4, individuals around the globe celebrate to honor St. Francis. PETA, an animal rights organization, states on its website that, “St. Francis loved all God’s creatures and followed God’s example of kindness, mercy, compassion, and love for all creation.” St. Francis not only cared for the well-being of God’s people but for all of his creatures, and PETA wants to stress that this was St. Francis’ major focus.
According to the PETA website, some animals, such as calves used for veal, are kept in lonely isolation, while others, such as chickens, are crowded so closely together that they can barely move. St. Francis’ values of kindness and respect toward nature are still being considered by both individuals and organizations today.
St. Francis' brotherhood included all of God's creation and not just people. Catholic Online discloses the intense relationship St. Francis had with the world. “Much has been written about Francis' love of nature, but his relationship was deeper than that. We call someone a lover of nature if they spend their free time in the woods or admire its beauty. But Francis really felt that nature, all God's creations, were part of his brotherhood. The sparrow was as much his brother as the pope.”
St. Francis’ values portray to Catholics and non-Catholics alike the importance of protecting and honoring all creatures of earth.