Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi (1182?-1226) was the founder of the Franciscan Order. The son of a wealthy merchant named Pietro di Bernardone, he publicly denounced his father's wealth in 1206 and dedicated his life to prayer and serving the poor. Pope Innocent III eventually gave Francis and his followers permission to preach, and he ordained Francis a deacon. The followers of Francis were called Friars Minor, or "the lesser brethren." Francis died on October 3, 1226, and was canonized in 1228. Read more about this saint, as well as the complete text of his Sermon to the Birds, at The History Place.