He was canonized in 1228 by Pope Gregory IX. The current pope of the Church of Rome took the name of French as a sign of poverty, hope and submission to God.
Iconography: the sermon to the birds of Saint Francis of Assisi. Source: thomas de celano life of saint françois dassise french translation, introduction and notes of d.
Vorreux, Paris, Franciscan editions, 1952. After the arrival of new brothers, the blessed Frenchman took the road and followed the valley of Spoleto. As he approached bevagna, he met, in whole bands, birds of all kinds: antlers, crows and rooks.
As soon as he saw them, he planted his companions there and ran to the birds. His love was so overwhelming that he even showed to the inferior creatures, deprived of reason, a great affection and a great gentleness. Arrived near two, he found that the birds were waiting; he sent them the usual greeting, and he was awed by the fact that they had not flown away as usual, told them that they must listen to the word of God and humbly begged them to be attentive. He says to them, among other things: \he gave you feathers to clothe you, wings to fly and everything you need to live. Of all the creatures of God, it is you who have better grace; he has devolved to you space and his simplicity; you have neither to sow nor to reap; it gives you the living and the cover without you having to worry about it.
At these words, relate the saint himself and his companions, the birds expressed in their way an admirable joy; they stretched out their necks, spread their wings, opened their beaks, and looked attentively. He came and went among them, grazing his tunic and their heads and their bodies. Finally, he blessed them, traced on them the sign of the cross and allowed them to fly. He took the road with his companions and, delirious with joy, gave thanks to God who is thus recognized and revered of all his creatures.
He was not simple in mind, but he had the grace of simplicity. So he sacrificed negligence to have not yet preached to the birds since these animals listened with such respect to the word of God. And from that day, he did not fail to exhort all the birds, all the animals, the reptiles, and even the insensitive creatures, to praise and love the creator, for, in the name of the savior, he had every day the experience of their docility. Early 19th very beautiful wood polychrom sculpture of francis seated and the birds.
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