Francis of Assisi  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni Francesco Bernardone) (1181 or 11823 October 1226) was a Roman Catholic friar and the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans.

He is known as the patron saint of animals, birds, the environment, and Italy, and it is customary for Catholic churches to hold ceremonies honoring animals around his feast day of October 4.

Vision

While he was praying on the mountain of Verna, during a forty-day fast in preparation for Michaelmas (September 29), Francis is said to have had a vision on or about September 14, 1224, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, as a result of which he received the stigmata. Brother Leo, who had been with Francis at the time, left a clear and simple account of the event, the first definite account of the phenomenon of stigmata. "Suddenly he saw a vision of a seraph, a six-winged angel on a cross. This angel gave him the gift of the five wounds of Christ." Suffering from these stigmata and from trachoma, Francis received care in several cities (Siena, Cortona, Nocera) to no avail. In the end, he was brought back to a hut next to the Porziuncola. Here, in the place where it all began, feeling the end approaching, he spent the last days of his life dictating his spiritual testament. He died on the evening of October 3, 1226, singing Psalm 142(141) – "Voce mea ad Dominum".

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Francis of Assisi" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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