Francis of Assisi
556 South Jersey Street; Denver, CO 80224
National Catholic Church (PNCC)

St. Francis of Assisi Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) @2008
Saint Francis of Assisi
This statue of Saint Francis of Assisi sits out front of our church welcoming all visitors.
Saint Francis of Assisi
was born in Assisi, Italy (September 26, 1181 or 1182 - October 3, 1226) in the Umbria region. Originally baptized, Giovanni di Bernardone, by his mother,
in honor of Saint John the Baptist. His father, a rich cloth
merchant who was away on business when Saint Francis was born,
had him renamed Francesco (Francis in english).

Saint Francis founded the Order of Friars Minor (The Franciscans).
Known as the patron saint of the animals and the environment,
he is often depicted in art surrounded by animals. Saint Francis is
considered to be the most beloved saint of all. More is written
about him than any other saint.

Saint Francis is credited with the widespread devotion of the
Stations of the Cross and setting up the first known live Nativity
in the town of Greccio near Assisi, around 1220. He used real
animals and a straw-filled manger (a feeding trough) set between a real ox and a real donkey.

After a pilgrimage to Rome, Saint Francis stopped at the Church of
San Damiano, located just outside of Assisi. As he prayed before the
Cross of San Damiano, he heard the call of God to "rebuild my church".
It was then that St. Francis dedicated himself to God. He restored
the Church of San Damiano as well as several others in the region.
Soon he had followers, one of which was St. Clare of Assisi.

In 1224, he received the Stigmata after having a vision of a seraph
who gave him the gift of all five of Christ's wounds. It was after this
that St. Francis spent the remainder of his days dictating his spiritual

Saint Francis of Assisi in Sacro Speco,
Mount Subiaso, Italy
Painted by a Benedictine Monk approximately 1218.
The earliest known painting of Saint Francis.
Assisi, Italy
The doves at Saint Francis Basilica,
Assisi, Italy
Original San Damiano Cross
Saint Clare Basilica, Assisi, Italy
Saint Francis if considered by many to be the first Italian poet. His writings are still considered to have great literary value as well as religious value.

The Prayer of St. Francis is considered to be one of his most famous prayers although it doesn't appear in any of his writings. The first known appearance of this prayer was in 1912 in a French magazine called, "La Clochette". During WW1 & 2, small cards were passed out to soliders with a picture of Saint Francis on one side and the prayer, known then as the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis, on the other side.

His feast day is celebrated on October 4. Many churches will hold a 'Blessing of the Animals' on or around this day to commerate Saint Francis and his love for the animals and the environment.
Prone to illness most of his life, and suffering from the Stigmata, he died on the evening of October 3, 1226 singing Psalm 141.

On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX. It was Pope Gregory IX who laid the foundation stone for the Basilica of Saint Francis. Saint Francis was buried on May 25, 1230 under the Lower Basilica.

According to legend, the doves at the Basilica arrived as soon as the foundation stone was laid and have roosted there since.

Garden statue of Saint Francis
Basilica of Saint Francis, Assisi, Italy
The tunic Saint Francis wore until his death
Tomb of Saint Francis