Having visited the Assisi monastery- his place of daily living and worship, I can surely say- that the loving presence of St. Francis can be felt even after all these centuries. There is something absolutely magical about this place. Even those who are not necessarily spiritually inclined have indicated that they feel a sense of joy and calm when they are in this monastery.
Patron Saint of Italy:
Saint Francis along with Saint Catherine of Siena was designated as the patron saint of Italy. He is one of the few saints who bore the symbols of the stigmata and experienced the pain (and its blessings) of the passion of the Christ.
Saint Francis later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on or near his feast day of 4 October.
Prayer to Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.