Feast Day: October 4
Patron of: Animals & Birds, Ecology, The Poor and Peace
A chosen life of wandering barefoot and begging for food sounds pretty crazy, but that’s exactly the life Saint Francis chose. After giving up his lofty lifestyle and leaving all of his possessions behind, Francis roved the Italian countryside to spread God’s message of love. Because of his affection for nature and all created things, our Saint Francis Prayer Pillowcase features Saint Francis surrounded by animals.
God’s creatures helped Francis live the difficult lifestyle he embraced; when nobody wanted to hear him speak, he would preach to the animals and trees instead! The wolf in our illustration honors the tale about the starving creature who once terrorized an Italian village, gobbling up its food and children. The people were furious and frightened at the violence. Francis turned this incident into a teachable moment by speaking to the villagers about God’s forgiveness. He made peace with the wolf, and the villagers joined a pact: they would feed the wolf for the rest of its life and in return the wolf would protect their city.
Most of us aren't terrorized by wild animals these days, but we do face our own challenges every day. The serene illustration and companion Prayer of Saint Francis on this Saints and Angels Prayer Pillowcase design reminds us to pray for God's guidance every day. It also inspires us to search for the joy and peace that Saint Francis found in loving and serving God.