St. Francis has always held a special place in my life. Not really because of his life or his holiness, which my no means is meaningless, but simply because he is the one whom my birth city is named after…and he frequently seems to appear in my life at random times and in random places! I have a fondness for St. Francis and his gentleness with animals has always fascinated me.
October 4th was his feast day which reminded me of him and how he seems to find me wherever I go.
A few years ago, my husband and I took a trip through the Cento Valli above Lago Maggiore. One of the stops was Locarno where we visited the beautiful Madonna del Sasso sanctuary way atop the city. As were were wandering through the sanctuary, I found myself face to face with St. Francis! The first thought that came to me was that he was with me and protecting me and reminding me of my home. Of course, I had to take a picture of him!
San Francisco is filled with shrines and memories of St. Francis. The famous Porziuncola at the oldest church in San Francisco, which naturally bears the name of St. Francis, is always there as a reminder to him. (here is a post about the shrine) The Porziuncola
Of course, the gorgeous ancient town of Assisi, in the Italian province of Umbria, is all about St. Francis…as this is where he lived and performed his ministry. The gorgeous church, with its countless frescoes, is a majestic tribute to this very holy man. And visiting this town only brings you more in tune with how special of a saint, and man, he was.
His love of all creatures has made him a special saint for animals, and during his feast day many animals are blessed! Even my crazy little Sophie dog was blessed at his holy day (even though she wasn’t a very obedient participant!)
St. Francis always seems to find me in my travels, rooting me always to that special city by the bay that I will always call home. But…now it’s my turn to look for St. Francis… I want him in my garden where I can see him every day. Keep a look out for a stone, or preferably bronze, garden stauary of St. Francis! If you see one, please let me know as I want him close to me at all times!
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