The first stigmatized saint in Christian history, he inspired universal values of which he is today the icon. Named patron saint of ecology by Pope John Paul II, he also embodies the figure of tolerance and salvation. Saint Francis of Assisi also developed the bond of mutual aid and social.
"When I returned to my home town of Assisi, perhaps the most significant episode of my conversion took place.
While I was praying in the church of San Damiano, something miraculous happened; strange as it may seem to you, the crucifix seemed to be speaking to me, saying: "Francis, go and repair my house, which, as you see, is all in ruins". Phenomena of this importance began to occur in greater numbers after this event.
One day I took the fabrics from my father's shop and sold them in Foligno together with his horse. I remember that I walked all the way home and offered my money to the priest of the church of San Damiano to have it repaired... I insisted in every way, but the priest did not want to accept it, presumably fearing my father's anger.
The solidarity of Assisi became so strong towards my family, thanks to my works of charity, that my parent considered his expectations of me betrayed... I was a disappointment to him; he really believed that, because of my immoderate generosity, I was mentally unbalanced!
My father tried to drive me away to hide me from the gossip of the vulgar world. I did not dare leave this path and he decided to have me arrested to try to change my attitude. I appealed to the bishop. So I was put on trial. All Assisi was present."
This 13th century man knew how to position himself as a visionary of the problems of the 21st century. In fact, Saint Francis of Assisi, with his praise of poverty and renunciation of material goods, has become a very contemporary figure in the face of the current global crisis.
By Vittorio, author of the tour "Saint Francis. The Joy of Humility."