Saints are people that were holy in life and followed the plan that God made for them. They sometimes had conversions or became martyrs. At Confirmation, we choose a Saint to help guide us through life. There is a large variety of Saints to choose from, and we should choose a Saint that we can relate to in some way. I have chosen Saint Francis to be my Confirmation Saint.
Saint Francis of Assisi was born in Assisi, Italy in the year 1182. His parents were Pietro di Bernardone and the Lady Pica. When his father came back from a business trip, he renamed his son Francesco. I found that Saint Francis had six siblings, but their names are unknown. His family was wealthy, so he had no trouble with poverty. Francis learned to speak Latin when he went to school. Francis followed in his father’s footsteps and became a merchant. When he was older, he went to war against Perguia. There, he was captured and held prisoner for an entire year. He became sick shortly after he was let out. He tried to join Count Gentile to fight with the papal forces. He had a vision to come back to Assisi while he was on this journey. He realized this was from God, and started praying to Him. Later, Francis had more visions and times when he was called to become closer to God. Some of these things include having a vision of Jesus while praying in a grotto and hearing a cross speak to him while he was praying. St. Francis founded the Franciscan Order before he died. Francis had a stigmata, or the marks of Jesus’s wounds. He ended up dying from illness in his mid 40s.
There is a story of Saint Francis and a wolf. In this story, the wolf kills sheep and livestock of a town. The townspeople try to kill the wolf, but some of them end up dying while trying. They call on Saint Francis to come and talk to the wolf. Francis learns that the wolf was injured and was not able to hunt anything fast. Then Francis helps the wolf and the town come to an agreement that the wolf would not kill any livestock, and the town would feed him in return.
The vision that Francis had when he was going to join an army was what made him start following Jesus. Francis lived in sin for a long time, and realized that he was not doing what God was calling him to do. He also started praying more when he realized this and got even closer to God. His friends and family did not have much of an influence on him following God because his father got angry when he tried to help the Church.
One way Francis spent his life serving God was by living in poverty and giving all of his money to the Church. He also helped people with leprosy and was not afraid to approach them. Another way he served God is that he founded the Franciscan Order. The Franciscans live a life of poverty and spread the Word of God. The Pope had a vision of Francis holding up a crumbling church and allowed him to form a religious order. The last example proving Francis was a person serving God is that he tried to rebuild a church in San Damiano. The three virtues Francis showed are courage, humility, and charity. Francis had courage because he wanted to help in wars and also wanted to become a knight. He had humility because he always tried to help other people and not himself. Francis had charity because he helped the poor and lived a life of poverty. St. Francis of Assisi was canonized on March 12th, 1622.
One thing I learned is that I should always be generous. If I am generous, I will be able to help others when I am wanting something for myself. I learned that I should also live in humility. If I am humble, I will not spend too much money on things I do not need which might put me in debt. The last thing I learned is that I can always depend on God. If I ever feel sad or make a mistake, I can pray to God to ask Him to help me through the tough times.
I chose Saint Francis of Assisi because I love animals. I spend a lot of time outdoors and we often go to our farm. Also, my cousin used to be a member of the Fransican Order. St. Francis inspires me to be a better Catholic because he always helped others and took little for himself. He can be a model for us today because many people feel that we need material things. They can look to St. Francis for help so that they might realize they do not need so many things.
Finally, the reason I want to be confirmed is that I think I will become closer to God. The reason I chose St. Francis is that he is a great role model for many people living in the modern world. If I were to say a prayer to St. Francis, I would say the following:
St. Francis, Patron Saint of animals, merchants, and ecology. Please help me to always be loving to others and have the strength to give some of my earnings to the poor. Help me to bring peace to those around me. Help me to understand the pain that others have, and give me the strength to help them. Thank you for everything you did in your life. Amen.
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