St. Francis was born in Assisi, Italy, the son of a wealthy merchant. He joined the military but soon became a prisoner of war. When he finally returned home, Francis felt drawn to serve the poor. While praying before a crucifix, Francis heard Jesus tell him, "Repair my house," the Church. Francis' radical poverty and simplicity soon attracted many followers. Today, the Franciscan Order remains one of the most beloved religious institutions worldwide.
Feast Day: October 4
Patronage: Animals, Pet Owners, Pets, The Environment, The Poor