Francis was born in 1182, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. Though Francis was fairly frivolous as a young man, an experience of sickness made him start to re-examine the meaning of his life. One day, in a nearby church, he seemed to hear Christ saying to him, "Francis, repair my falling house." He took the words literally, and sold a bale of silk from his father's warehouse to pay for repairs to the church. His father was outraged, and disinherited Francis. In response, Francis gave up all his money and fine clothes and devoted himself to serving the poor.
Since he could not pay for repairs to the church, he set out to repair it by his own hands. A few companions joined him. Francis and his companions would have no money, and no property, individually or collectively. Their task was to preach, "using words if necessary," but declaring by word and action the love of God in Christ by tending the poor, sick, lonely and excluded people.
It is said that, one day, while Francis was traveling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to "wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds”. The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away.
He preached to both human and animal the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God and the duty of humans to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves.
HOW CAN WE FOLLOW IN FRANCIS’ PATH TOO?