Today we celebrate the feast of perhaps the most well known and most loved saint in history: St. Francis of Assisi. In his honor, I thought I would share some tidbits about St. Francis that you may or may not know.
His baptismal name was John (Giovanni). His father, Pietro, hated that name and so named him Francis (Francesco) after his favorite country, France.
Early in his life, Francis wanted nothing more than to be a knight. He was a skilled horseman and was good with a sword.
Francis spent a year as a prisoner of war, in which he witnessed his fellow soldiers being tortured and killed. This experience changed him.
The famous phrase attributed to St. Francis - "Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use words." - he never said. He did, however, write, "All the brothers, however, should preach by their deeds."
Father, we thank you for the great witness of St. Francis of Assisi. As he did, may we dedicate our lives to service of Christ and His people. Amen.