Saint Francis of Assisi, Religious
“Great and glorious God, my Lord Jesus Christ! I implore Thee to enlighten me and to disperse the darkness of my soul. Give me true faith, firm hope, and perfect charity. Grant me, O Lord, to know Thee so well that in all things I may act by Thy light and in accordance with Thy holy will. Amen.” 
St. Francis was born in central Italy in the 12th century. The son of a wealthy merchant, his early life was indulgent and frivolous. At age 20, he seemed set for a military career until a series of visions redirected his course. While praying in front of a crucifix at the Church of St. Damian, St. Francis heard Christ tell him to “go and rebuild my Church.” St. Francis shifted his life and originally began rebuilding ruined churches. Men and women, both religious and secular, joined him and the Friars Minor, Poor Clares and Third Order of St. Francis were formed. St. Francis modeled a life in relationship with Christ and therefore, helped ‘renew the People of God.’ St. Francis was canonized in 1228 by Gregory IX and is the patron saint of Italy, the environment, and animals. 
Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD
 Prayer app: The ultimate reference to Catholic Prayers for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v., “St. Francis of Assisi, Prayer before a crucifix.”
 Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, January 27, 2010.
 Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Francis of Assisi.”