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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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John Paul II: “Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. <br /><br />Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. <br /><br />Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin. <br /><br />Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong! <br /><br />He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its <em>Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World</em>. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. <br /><br />Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. <br /><br />He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. <br /><br />The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. <br /><br />“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, <em>Redeemer of the Human Race</em>. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.” <br /><br />His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that. <br /><br />One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier. <br /><br />In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. <br /><br />In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities. <br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014. American Catholic Blog Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá

 
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CATHOLIC GREETINGS
St. John Paul II
“…let us always give priority to the human person and his fundamental rights.” St. John Paul II
Godparents
For the one to be baptized, godparents represent the Christian Catholic community, the Church.
Birthday
You have the heart and soul of a child of God, no matter how long you've been around.
World Mission Sunday
The Church in North America sprang from the blood of martyrs such as this missionary and his companions.
St. Luke
Author of two books of the New Testament, this Evangelist’s primary audience was Gentile Christians like himself.



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