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St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment, founded the Franciscan Order. Find a unique Franciscan pet blessing and send e-cards that celebrate his October 4 feast day.

Seasonal Features
St. Francis of Assisi
Send a St. Francis e-Greeting!

Life of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology, was a Roman Catholic saint who took the gospel literally by following all Jesus said and did.
Who Was St. Francis?
Who Wrote the Peace Prayer of St. Francis?
The Challenge of the San Damiano Cross
Send a St. Francis e-Greeting!

Pet Blessings 
Christians everywhere celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 by having their pets blessed in the spirit of this patron saint of animals and ecology. 
Pet Blessings Around the U.S.
Do Our Pets Go to Heaven?
Why We Bless Animals
‘Do-It-Yourself’ Animal Blessing
How Is Your Pet a Sign of God's Love?  Share your story with us!
St. Francis and the Birds
Stories of St. Francis and the Animals
Send a Pet Blessing e-Greeting!

Why Catholics Care for Creation

In the October 2008 issue of Catholic Update, Joan Brown, O.S.F., looks at how the Church has understood creation through the centuries. While exploring such issues as global warming, she also explains how the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy can serve a guide for the care of creation.

St. Anthony Messenger Press book Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth

Was Jesus a Tree Hugger?
The April 2008 issue of Every Day Catholic focuses on how we can cultivate and care for the earth. Easy words in theory and wholly holy, but being good stewards of creation isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Francis, Faith and Ecology

Franciscan Green
Why do Franciscans care about the environment? Father Joe Rozansky lays out the facts in this article from St. Anthony Messenger.

The October 2007 issue of St. Anthony Messenger is a special issue exploring the many connections between Franciscan spirituality and our stewardship of the earth.

St. Francis of Assisi: Why He's the Patron of Ecology

Other St. Anthony Messenger articles on species preservation, the Our Father as environmental teacher, going green and the tragedy of mountaintop removal.

Justice
Through his example, St. Francis reminds us that we are called to bring about justice and peace in our world, to end violence and war, poverty and oppression and to protect our fragile planet.
Meet Our Franciscans!
Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation
Get Informed
Take Action
Send a Peace e-Greeting!

Peace
Convinced that violence and war were wrong, St. Francis believed in peaceful dialogue with all our brothers and sisters. He calls us to be instruments of peace and healing by turning from weapons of violence to acts of love. "Happy are those who endure in peace."
St. Francis' Style of Prayer
St. Francis, Peace and the Muslims
Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Make a Peace Pledge
How to Be an Instrument of Peace
Send a Peace Prayer e-Greeting!

Franciscan Resources
FRANCIS AND HIS BROTHERS: A Popular History of the Franciscan Friars
Dominic V. Monti, O.F.M., Ph.D.

THE SIMPLE WAY: Meditations on the Words of St. Francis
Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

FRANCISCAN PRAYER
Ilia Delio, O.S.F.

ASSISI PILGRIMAGE: Walking in Faith with Francis and Clare
Greg Friedman, O.F.M.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FRANCIS AND CLARE
Roch Niemier, O.F.M.



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Angela Merici: Angela has the double distinction of founding the first teaching congregation of women in the Church and what is now called a “secular institute” of religious women. 
<p>As a young woman she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis (now known as the Secular Franciscan Order), and lived a life of great austerity, wishing, like St. Francis, to own nothing, not even a bed. Early in life she was appalled at the ignorance among poorer children, whose parents could not or would not teach them the elements of religion. Angela’s charming manner and good looks complemented her natural qualities of leadership. Others joined her in giving regular instruction to the little girls of their neighborhood. </p><p>She was invited to live with a family in Brescia (where, she had been told in a vision, she would one day found a religious community). Her work continued and became well known. She became the center of a group of people with similar ideals. </p><p>She eagerly took the opportunity for a trip to the Holy Land. When they had gotten as far as Crete, she was struck with blindness. Her friends wanted to return home, but she insisted on going through with the pilgrimage, and visited the sacred shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she had her sight. On the way back, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was restored at the same place where it had been lost. </p><p>At 57, she organized a group of 12 girls to help her in catechetical work. Four years later the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of St. Ursula (patroness of medieval universities and venerated as a leader of women) for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. The members continued to live at home, had no special habit and took no formal vows, though the early Rule prescribed the practice of virginity, poverty and obedience. The idea of a teaching congregation of women was new and took time to develop. The community thus existed as a “secular institute” until some years after Angela’s death.</p> American Catholic Blog I hear far more people discuss the presence of evil in their lives than they do the supreme power of grace. God is bigger than evil!

 
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Who Inspired Thomas Merton?

Discover the Franciscan traces in Merton's work and learn new ways of living in harmony with God, creation, and others.

New for Lent 2015
This Lent, detach yourself from the busyness of everyday life and find stillness and silence.
Discover the Princess Within
The Princess Guide uses fairy tales to inspire young women to dignity, femininity, and fervent faith.
Say "Yes" to God!
Learn how to live generously with Lisa M. Hendey.
How Did a Rebellious Troubadour Change the Church?
Bestselling author Jon Sweeney sheds new light on the familiar tale of St. Francis.

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Happy Birthday
Send them your best wishes for a joyous and peaceful birthday.
Catholic Schools Week
This week we honor the contributions to the U.S. made through Catholic education.
Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity
Loving God, give us imagination and courage to build your Church together in unity and in love.
St. Francis de Sales
Celebrate today with Catholic writers and journalists who claim this 16th-century saint as their patron.
St. Marianne Cope
This 19th-century woman religious is best known for her years of service to the people of Hawaii.



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