St. Francis who founded the Franciscan Order, is the patron saint for animals, the environment and Italy.
He was born in the town of Assisi in Central Italy in the year 1181.
Both Pope’s John Paul II and Benedict XVI have visited his tombstone which sits at the Basilica of St. Francesco of Assisi’. Francesco was the name his father gave him when he was baptized.
In his early adult life, Francesco spent time in the military also as a beggar on the streets, but eventually a serious illness lead him to reach out to his faith.
In 1209 he heard a sermon that impacted his life forever. He decided to devote his life to apostolic poverty establishing his own order known today as the Order of Friars Minor.
St. Francis of Assisi died at the age of 45.