St Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi is the patron Saint of our School and Parish.
St Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant and lived a life of luxury in his youth. In 1202, Francis joined a war between Assisi and neighbouring Perugia. The Assisi forces were defeated and Francis captured, spending a year in prison until he was released.
War and imprisonment changed Francis. He was no longer attracted to his former life. After an encounter with a leper he felt great freedom of spirit, and after hearing the voice of Christ at the San Damiano church telling him to rebuild His church, he devoted his life to God and building up the Church, including the restoration of the San Damiano church.
Tradition is that Francis sold cloth and a horse belonging to his father to help in the rebuild of the San Damiano church. His Father was furious and brought Francis before the Bishop. When faced with charges of misconduct he stripped off all his clothes and gave all his possessions, clothes and money to his father deciding that in the future God was his only father. The Bishop clothed Francis in a rough tunic which is the origin of the habit of the Franciscans.
From then on Francis led a life of poverty, relying on charity, and devoting himself to preaching the word of God. He embraced a remarkably simple life of prayer and preaching, building up the church after the heart of Jesus. As he said to his followers: we must be simple, humble and pure.
Towards the end of his life St Francis was granted a further vision and received the stigmata, the marks resembling the crucifixion wounds of Jesus.
We welcome St Francis as our patron, intercessor and friend. Under his guidance may our parish and its school embrace the spirit of St Francis of Assisi, recovering that simplicity of life which makes us good citizens of the earth and children of God.