Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saints in my Garden -Saint Francis

We have several Saint Francis of Assisi statues in our garden. My favorite is in our peace garden. Of all the Saints associated with the outdoors it seems that Saint Francis is the most well known. Born Francis Bernadone in 1181 he died a short 45 years later. The son of a wealthy merchant, he grew up in luxury. Francis was a wild and talented lad, his high spirited companionship much in demand. A youthful escapade landed him in prison. Following his release, he had a long bout with an illness during which he underwent a spiritual transformation and then zealously began a life of poverty and prayer. By 1209 a few disciples joined him living in poverty and worship. They also lived in the beauties of nature, as well as on its fruits. Sleeping in caves, sharing food with birds and animals, while calling them his "brothers", loving the sun but also the cruel elements such as bitter sleet or deep snow which were loved by him as a part of the great world of God. In 1212 the Sisters of the Poor was established with Clare of Assisi at its head and in 1221, Francis now as head of the Franciscans stepped down as the direction of his order passed into other hands. Below is another style of Saint Francis statuary. He is most often depicted with birds or in this case as a small bird feeder. Sometimes he is shown with a wolf as well.
Saint Fiacre (below) is often considered the Patron Saint of gardeners. He is usually depicted with a spade or shovel. We featured a blog post with the story of Saint Fiacre a couple of years ago.

3 comments:

Marilyn said...

Love your peace garden. Ever since you posted about Saint Fiacre I have wanted one for our garden. I am still looking.

PeggyR said...

Ok how do you pronounce Fiacre? I just bought one today to hang on our fence. I already have 2 St. Francis!

Ann Flower said...

Wow....this sculptures look awesome in your garden. It will surely adds to the beauty of the garden.