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St. Francis Statues
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St. Francis is one of the most popular and endearing saints in the Catholic Church. He is the patron saint of Italy the environment, animals and also symbolizes Mother Nature and the care we should take of the planet on which we live. To him, the earth and all its inhabitants are one family and needed to care for each other. He is also the patron saint of Italy.

 

St. Francis was born in 1181 to a wealthy Italian merchant and his French wife. He was born when they were traveling in France, and because that trip was so commercially successful, his father called him Francesco, or Francis, instead of his given name which was Giovanni di Bernardone in honor of St. John the Baptist. As a young man he lived a dissipated life with his rich friends seeking pleasure. One day, in the market place he saw a beggar. This meeting had a life changing impact on him. He gave the beggar everything he had, suffering censure and ridicule from his friends and family. For the next four years he joined the military, was captured and had a severe illness, all of which turned his thoughts towards introspection.

 

He wanted to live in secluded places nursing the sick, especially lepers, near Assisi. In the Church of San Damiano he had a vision where Jesus told him to repair His house. St. Francis thought this meant the broken down church so he got some money and renovated it. He begged for a couple of years and continued to restore churches. After hearing a sermon in 1209 about going to Jesus with nothing, he vowed to live life poor. He chose not to become a priest and gradually got 11 followers. They lived simply and in 1209 went to Rome to ask Pope Innocent III to recognize their order of lesser brothers.

 

The Pope was a bit reluctant, but told them if they attract more followers they could reapply. They were allowed to have their heads shaved. They gained many more followers including his sister and brother. In 1213 St. Francis was given a mountain which soon became his favorite place to pray. He traveled to Egypt and met the sultan Melek-el-Kamel. His devotion so impressed the sultan that long after his death only the Franciscans were allowed by the Muslims to stay in the Holy Land.

 

Something else that St. Francis did that is still practiced today is to create the nativity scene. In 1223 he celebrated a midnight mass near a mountain side near the small town of Grecio, where he created for the first time the scene Jesus’ birth. The use of the manger was begun here with an ass and an ox near by as well as angels, baby, Joseph and Mary who were played by town people. In 1224, St. Francis received the five wounds of Jesus, which bothered him the rest of his life, but were a sign of his total devotion. He was pronounced a saint the next day by Pope Gregory IX. He died in 1230. He believed prayer should be in ones own language so he wrote poetry and prayers in the Umbrian dialect of instead of Latin.

 

Catholic Medals Gifts stocks a vast inventory of religious jewelry, religious statues, patron saint medals, religious gifts, religious home decor, Christmas decorations, and church goods. If you can not find what you are looking for call us at 281-852-9909. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Islip, New York, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Tampa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado

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