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8 Simple Ways to Celebrate St. Francis of Assisi

8 Simple Ways to Celebrate St. Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi

Feast day: October 4

Patron saint of:  Animals, Ecology, Archaeologists, Italy, Merchants, Messengers, Metal Workers

Photo by Evelyn Semenyuk on Unsplash

Go out in nature & praise God’s creation

St. Francis is the patron saint of ecology. 

St. Francis loved God’s creation and saw all living things as worthy of honor. All creation is precious to God and harmoniously works together for good. 

 

  • Do some gardening + dedicate your garden to St. Francis 
  • Go for a walk / hike 
  • Pray the Canticle of Creatures 

    Praised be you, my Lord with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day through whom you bring us light.

    Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars. In heaven you have formed them, lightsome and precious and fair. [excerpt]


    Read the full canticle here.

Delight in animals

St. Francis is also the patron saint of animals.  

There are many stories of first hand accounts of St. Francis preaching about animals and TO animals. 

One famous story is how he preached the word of God to birds who stood silent and listened until he was finished and didn’t leave until he had blessed them. 

Here are excerpts from those first hand accounts. And here is the original text

 

  • Go bird watching. Notice the beauty in God’s most carefree creatures. 
  • Give your pets some extra special love. Give them a treat, go for a walk with them, say a blessing over them. Call them “Brother” or “Sister” today, like St. Francis would have.

 

Photo by Valerie Elash on Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Be present to someone who’s suffering

Above everything else, St. Francis was known for his kindness to the suffering, the poor, and the outcasts of society.  
  • Seek out someone who is struggling,
    and encourage them.

    Send a text,
    give them a call,
    visit them,
    pray for them,
    bring them a meal.
If you notice someone suffering or asking for help, do not deny them.
If you see someone experiencing homelessness, give them what you can.
Lean into an encounter with your struggling brother or sister.
 

Pray the Peace Prayer of St. Francis

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” 
  • Sit in silence for 5 minutes.
    Pray this prayer. 

Download our free printable of this prayer here.

Did you know?

This prayer was most likely not written by St. Francis, though it had been attributed to him for years. As of now, the writer remains anonymous. But the prayer still reflects many of the tenets St. Francis lived out and wrote about as part of the Franciscan Order. And very much is a prayer still worth praying! 

 

Download our free printable of this prayer here.

Photo by Billy Kwok on Unsplash

Give up something frivolous and donate the proceeds

St. Francis came from a wealthy family, but after his conversion experience, decided to live a life of radical poverty and sold all he had.

To this day, many friars and sisters of the Franciscan Orders make permanent vows of poverty as part of their initiation into the order. 
  • Give up something luxurious in your day today.
  • Donate what you would have spent to a charitable organization (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal would be a great one!) 

Some ideas of things to give up: 

  • Your latte 
  • Dessert
  • Eating out
  • Your next Amazon order

Go to mass

Inside the crumbling church of San Damiano, St. Francis had a pivotal encounter with Jesus.
As he was kneeling in front of the crucifix, “the image of Christ crucified spoke to him. ‘Francis,’ it said, calling him by name, ‘go rebuild My house; as you see, it is all being destroyed.’” 

 

One of the first things St. Francis did after selling all of his possessions and leaving his family home, was to physically restore the church of San Damiano, stone by stone.
That church eventually became the home of the Poor Clares, run by St. Clare of Assisi. 

  • Go to mass today. 
  • Pray what St. Francis prayed in the crumbling church of San Damiano, “Lord, what do you wish from me?” 

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

St. Francis' favorite almond cookies

Eat italian

Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis, is located in the Umbria region of Italy. 
  • Bake St. Francis’ favorite almond cookies

    Blessed Jacoba of Settesoli (1190-1273) was a follower of St. Francis of Assisi.

    As Saint Francis lay dying, he sent for Blessed Jacoba and asked that she bring some of her almond cookies with her. To this day, many Franciscan communities still bake these for feast days in memory of Saint Francis.

Get the recipe here

Dance (and praise) like Francis 

Listen to our St. Francis playlist on Spotify for tunes that will bring you peace, tug at your heart, or make you want to dance like Francis.

“And such was the fervor of his spirit as he spoke that, unable to contain himself for joy, as he uttered the words with his mouth he moved his feet as if dancing.” - From The First Life of Francis by Thomas of Celano 

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