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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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Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions: Lawrence (Lorenzo) was born in Manila of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother, both Christians. Thus he learned Chinese and Tagalog from them and Spanish from the Dominicans whom he served as altar boy and sacristan. He became a professional calligrapher, transcribing documents in beautiful penmanship. He was a full member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary under Dominican auspices. He married and had two sons and a daughter. 
<p>His life took an abrupt turn when he was accused of murder. Nothing further is known except the statement of two Dominicans that "he was sought by the authorities on account of a homicide to which he was present or which was attributed to him." </p><p>At that time three Dominican priests, Antonio Gonzalez, Guillermo Courtet and Miguel de Aozaraza, were about to sail to Japan in spite of a violent persecution there. With them was a Japanese priest, Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, and a layman named Lazaro, a leper. Lorenzo, having taken asylum with them, was allowed to accompany them. But only when they were at sea did he learn that they were going to Japan. </p><p>They landed at Okinawa. Lorenzo could have gone on to Formosa, but, he reported, "I decided to stay with the Fathers, because the Spaniards would hang me there." In Japan they were soon found out, arrested and taken to Nagasaki. The site of wholesale bloodshed when the atomic bomb was dropped had known tragedy before. The 50,000 Catholics who once lived there were dispersed or killed by persecution. </p><p>They were subjected to an unspeakable kind of torture: After huge quantities of water were forced down their throats, they were made to lie down. Long boards were placed on their stomachs and guards then stepped on the ends of the boards, forcing the water to spurt violently from mouth, nose and ears. </p><p>The superior, Antonio, died after some days. Both the Japanese priest and Lazaro broke under torture, which included the insertion of bamboo needles under their fingernails. But both were brought back to courage by their companions. </p><p>In Lorenzo's moment of crisis, he asked the interpreter, "I would like to know if, by apostatizing, they will spare my life." The interpreter was noncommittal, but Lorenzo, in the ensuing hours, felt his faith grow strong. He became bold, even audacious, with his interrogators. </p><p>The five were put to death by being hanged upside down in pits. Boards fitted with semicircular holes were fitted around their waists and stones put on top to increase the pressure. They were tightly bound, to slow circulation and prevent a speedy death. They were allowed to hang for three days. By that time Lorenzo and Lazaro were dead. The three Dominican priests, still alive, were beheaded. </p><p>In 1987, Blessed John Paul II canonized these six and 10 others, Asians and Europeans, men and women, who spread the faith in the Philippines, Formosa and Japan. Lorenzo Ruiz is the first canonized Filipino martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog We don’t have to scrub off our sin so God can love us. Instead, when we allow God’s healing love to touch us, we want to leave sin behind. Growth starts in love, not in guilt.

 
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Spiritual Questions, Catholic Advice
Father John's advice on Catholic spiritual questions will speak to your soul and touch your heart.

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Belated Birthday
Did you forget someone’s birthday? An e-card will reach them more quickly than the regular mail.
Catechetical Sunday
Catechists serve a vital role in the Church's mission of modeling and handing on the Good News of Jesus.
St. Francis
Promote peace among communities, nations and governments by promoting peace among individuals.
Catechetical Sunday
Send a Catholic Greetings e-card to the catechists who hand on the faith in your parish!
Sacrament of Confirmation
Is someone you know preparing to receive this sacrament? An e-card is a quick reminder of your prayers.



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