Hermit of St. Francis
March 27, 1416
April 2, 1506
1519 by Pope Leo X
patron saint of Calabria; Amato; La Chorrera, Panama; boatmen, mariners, and naval officers
Francis was born in Paula (Cosenza), to Giacomo Martolilla and Vienna from Fuscaldo. Being advanced in years, his parents attributed the birth of their eldest child to the intercession of St Francis of Assisi. This is the reason why they named him Francis and promised to make him wear the votive habit of Franciscans for a year At the age of fifteen Francis went to the monastery of the Friars Minor Conventuals in St Marco Argentano (Cosenza) to fulfil the vow made by his parents. Here Francis showed his disposition to prayer and his devotion, along with those supernatural powers which made him famous as a wonder-worker afterwards. The friars wished that he kept on living with them but, when the year to spend in St Marco Argentano passed, Francis, feeling that the time of a radical choice of life was approaching and wishing to know the several kinds of religious life-styles, left the monastery and went on a pilgrimage to Assisi with his parents. On his way to Assisi he visited Rome. He was troubled deeply by what he saw in Rome. According to his anonymous first biographer, Francis rebuked a cardinal because of his luxurious clothes with these words, “Our Lord did not dress like that”. This episode shows that the young-man was maturing the idea of an ecclesiastical life-style based on poverty.
O most holy Saint Francis,
God gives wisdom to the simple
and makes the merest child wise.
Pray that He grants me this reward
He promises to the humble through your intercession.
Help me always to make a good examination of conscience and confession.