Saint Francis of Assisi is celebrated every year on October 4th. He was a 12th century mentor, philosopher, Catholic monk and poet who was born in 1182. For his immense contributions to the revival of Catholicism, he was canonized as a saint. Prior to his spiritual awakening, Francis was known for living a luxurious and secular lifestyle and was a popular ringleader in his circle of friends.
No one from Francis’ family could’ve predicted that his hometown of Assisi, located in the Italian province of Umbria, would one day become a place of pilgrimage for believers and tourists. In his youth, Francis was carefree and cheerful, and his father employed him in his shop where he demonstrated an aptitude for luring in customers and making profitable sales.
Legend has it that one incident changed Francis’ life forever. A beggar entered the shop and asked for money, to which Francis harshly scolded him and drove him away. This sudden realization of what he would have done if he were wealthy shook him to his core, prompting Francis to apologize and give the beggar money. Soon after, a war broke out between the cities of Assisi and Perugio, and he went to the front to fight. He was eventually taken prisoner and became ill, yet still managed to keep his spirits high and cheer up those around him.
Upon his return, Francis spent much of his time in contemplation and prayer, having lost interest in his former wild lifestyle. His story is truly remarkable and is filled with intriguing moments that led him to God. Every year on October 4th, lamps are lit in his hometown and religious services are held in his honour.
- Francis was believed to be able to speak the language of animals.
- Before his death, he received stigmata on his arms and legs.
- He was one of seven children in the family.
How to take part
To partake in the celebration of Saint Francis of Assisi, one can read up on his life and achievements and share what they learn with their loved ones. Additionally, taking care of animals is a great way to honour him, as Francis was known for his compassion and mercy towards them. Lastly, attending a mass in his honour is a meaningful way to commemorate and pay tribute to the great saint.
When is Feast of St. Francis of Assisi in 2023?
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi is observed on October 4 each year.