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Saint Francis

Also known as Saint Francis of Assisi, Francis Bernardone, Poverello.
Born Francis Bernardone in 1181, in Assisi, Italy, into a rich family. Francis spent his youth getting into his share of trouble. As a young adult, he served part time as a soldier, during which time he was imprisoned. It was in that Perugia jail that Francis had a epiphany, wherein he heard Jesus tell him to put aside his worldly life. This experience profoundly changed him, and when he was released, he followed a path of spirituality and devotion.

Francis led the life of an acetic, dressing and acting like a beggar while preaching about Jesus and peace. He volunteered in hospitals, ministering to the sick, and formed a spiritual order called The Franciscans in 1212.

Francis may be best remembered for his Dr. Doolittle-like interactions with animals. Legend says that during an outing, he saw a flock or birds. As Francis stopped and began preaching to them, the birds cocked their heads and behaved like members of an enthralled audience. After Francis was done, he walked next to the birds, even brushing them with his jacket, and they didn't move. After that experience, Francis began preaching to birds, animals, and reptiles about God's love. They responded to him as tame, rather than wild, animals. For instance, the birds would become quiet as he spoke, and a wild rabbit continually jumped on his lap even after he put it on the ground several times. Similarly, a wolf accused of killing and harming both people and animals became placid under Francis's loving guidance.

He wrote many prayers and meditations, including the famous Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so
much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we're pardoned,
and it's in dying [to ourselves] that we're born to eternal life.

Francis passed into the spirit world on October 4, 1226, and two years later, he was canonized as Saint Francis of Assisi.

I've seen Saint Francis in the presence of many of my clients who are animal lovers, or whose life purpose involves helping and healing these wonderful creatures. He continues to be a passionate advocate of animals, and helps us learn from these wise and gentle beings with whom we share the planet.

Helps with:

Since Saint Francis is so closely associated with nature and animals, you'll feel the greatest connection with him in a natural setting or when you're with your pets or other animals. A kind, grandfatherly being, Saint Francis will come to anyone who calls upon him, especially if you're willing to help animals or the environment. If you're outside in nature, use all of your senses to enjoy the beauty: smell the fragrances, listen to the sounds, and feel the wind blowing past you. If you're indoors with pets, use your senses to notice details as well. The point is to slow down and appreciate nature's intricacies and loveliness.

As you're immersed in appreciation, mentally ask Saint Francis to join you (chances are that he already has before you even called upon him). When you sense his presence, take a few moments to talk to him cordially, just like you're engaging in conversation with a friend.

Saint Francis always asks us to take our time and appreciate the moment, so you needn't rush while asking Saint Francis for help or for a Divine assignment. Just enjoy the mental conversation, and allow the topics to naturally flow to the point where you request his assistance. As you develop this bond of friendship, you'll start to mutually support one another—you from your vantage point on the Earth plane, and he from his heavenly home.