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   One of the most venerated figures in Christianity, Francis was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on 16 July 1228. He  is the Patron Saint of Italy, usually depicted in a humble robe with a rope as a belt. He preached: "Your God is of your flesh, He lives in your nearest neighbor, in every man."

   Many of the stories that surround the life of Francis say that he had a great love for animals and the environment. One account describes how one day, while Francis was traveling with  companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees. 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 is often portrayed with a bird, typically in his hand.

   St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and of ecology. It is a popular practice on his feastday, 4 October, for people to bring their pets and other animals to church for a blessing.

Dimensions: 2" x 1"

St. Francis Cross