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Born in Assisi Umbria Italy 1182 to Peter and Pica Bernadone Saint Francis was christened John and later re-christened Francesco He died October 13 1226 and was canonized in the year 1228 Pope John Paul II declared him the Patron of Ecologists in 1979 Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment He is a lover of all of Gods creations and his feast day is celebrated each year on October 4 He was the founder the Franciscan Order He was a poor man who astounded and inspired the church by following everything that Jesus said and did without any hesitation and without a mite of self-importance In his youth Francis indulged himself in the finer things in life and sought as much pleasure as he could He was not interested in his fathers silk business nor was he interested in studies He went to war and was taken as a prisoner by the Perugins in 1202 Once he was released and returned home he resumed his dissolute life and fell seriously ill for quite some time Once he recovered from his illness in 1205 he joined the forces of Walter Gualtier de Brienne He was fighting in Southern Italy Francis outfitted himself quite nicely with new equipment According to some at that time he came across an extremely poorly clothed man to whom he decided to give his finery to A vision of Christ urging him to turn his back on his pleasurable lifestyle during yet another illness in Spoleto following his return home to Assisi caused him to make changes in his life Once at home he was tormented with accusations of being a coward In 1206 he went on a pilgrimage to Rome Italy in what was described as rags In Rome he came across a leper to which Francis kissed the mans diseased hand and gave him all his money This was an
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