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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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Rose Philippine Duchesne: Born in Grenoble, France, of a family that was among the new rich, Philippine learned political skills from her father and a love of the poor from her mother. The dominant feature of her temperament was a strong and dauntless will, which became the material—and the battlefield—of her holiness. She entered the convent at 19 and remained despite their opposition. As the French Revolution broke, the convent was closed, and she began taking care of the poor and sick, opened a school for homeless children and risked her life helping priests in the underground. 
<p>When the situation cooled, she personally rented her old convent, now a shambles, and tried to revive its religious life. The spirit was gone, and soon there were only four nuns left. They joined the infant Society of the Sacred Heart, whose young superior, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, would be her lifelong friend. In a short time Philippine was a superior and supervisor of the novitiate and a school. But her ambition, since hearing tales of missionary work in Louisiana as a little girl, was to go to America and work among the Indians. At 49, she thought this would be her work. With four nuns, she spent 11 weeks at sea en route to New Orleans, and seven weeks more on the Mississippi to St. Louis. She then met one of the many disappointments of her life. The bishop had no place for them to live and work among Native Americans. Instead, he sent her to what she sadly called "the remotest village in the U.S.," St. Charles, Missouri. With characteristic drive and courage, she founded the first free school for girls west of the Mississippi. </p><p>It was a mistake. Though she was as hardy as any of the pioneer women in the wagons rolling west, cold and hunger drove them out—to Florissant, Missouri, where she founded the first Catholic Indian school, adding others in the territory. "In her first decade in America, Mother Duchesne suffered practically every hardship the frontier had to offer, except the threat of Indian massacre—poor lodging, shortages of food, drinking water, fuel and money, forest fires and blazing chimneys, the vagaries of the Missouri climate, cramped living quarters and the privation of all privacy, and the crude manners of children reared in rough surroundings and with only the slightest training in courtesy" (Louise Callan, R.S.C.J., <i>Philippine Duchesne</i>). </p><p>Finally at 72, in poor health and retired, she got her lifelong wish. A mission was founded at Sugar Creek, Kansas, among the Potawatomi. She was taken along. Though she could not learn their language, they soon named her "Woman-Who-Prays-Always." While others taught, she prayed. Legend has it that Native American children sneaked behind her as she knelt and sprinkled bits of paper on her habit, and came back hours later to find them undisturbed. She died in 1852 at the age of 83 and was canonized in 1988.</p> American Catholic Blog It was important for some saints to vanish from view, to “decrease” so that God could “increase” in the scheme of things. Many saints actively fought promotions. If obedience required embracing them, they found other ways to remain lowly.

 
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Advent 2014
From the First Sunday of Advent through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, find inspiration for your Advent prayer time with this new book.
A Eucharistic Christmas
Advent and Christmas are the perfect time to reflect on the fact that God is with us always in the Eucharist.
What Do I Say?
Learn how to communicate with someone who is dying, especially how to convey a loving presence and a willingness to listen.
Peace and Good
"A practical and appealing guide to the Poor Man of Assisi." --Margaret Carney, O.S.F., president, St. Bonaventure University
Be Extraordinary!
Can a busy, ordinary person really make a difference in the lives of others?

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Praying for You
If you soon will be united with family around a holiday table, take a moment today to pray for those who spend holidays alone.
Thanksgiving
In America, Thanksgiving is one of the rare times when religion and civics intersect. Let us give thanks and praise to God every day.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
This missionary to the American frontier was known among the Potawatomi people as “Woman-Who-Prays-Always.”
Birthday
God of life, we come to celebrate another year, and ask you to bless us.
Communion of Saints
As we celebrate this tenet of our faith, remind yourself and others that we’re all called to sainthood.



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