Francis of Assisi (1182-1226).- Patron saint of animals.
Giovanni Bernardone was born from a French mother, Pica, in Assisi
(forty-one miles north of Rome, Italy) while his father, Pietro,
wealthy cloth merchant, was journeying in France. On his return, the
father started to call his son François, otherwise-said the
"French". This nickname remained to him and passed to the
posterity. About the child and the young man little is known, except
that he lived very freely and dreamed to become knight. Creator of
the Franciscan Order, a fraternity based on poverty and assistance
to the most stripped. Canonized in 1228, Saint Francis is often
represented in conversation with animals. The "Fioretti",
a work dating from the end of XIVth century reporting the miracles
and exemplary events of Saint-Françis life, contain some
illustrations of these relations. The sermon with the birds, the
transformation of the wolf of Gubbio are part of it.