Most people, even if they’re not Catholic, are familiar with Saint Francis of Assisi.
This holy man is often remembered with Saint Francis Lawn statues, which depict his love for all living creatures.
There is also a familiar Saint Francis prayer.
Sometimes this prayer is printed on a plaque. Or it may be sung.
It’s a beautiful message that begins with the words, “Lord, make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”
Saint Francis, who lived in the 13th-century Italy, sought to make peace with all. In his early life, he was a soldier. This may surprise people who only associate him as a gentle man wearing brown robes.
However, the horror and realities of war must have shaped his attitude toward armed conflict. Captured by the enemy, he spent a year imprisoned.
St Francis Garden Statues
Later, while still a young man, he received a Heavenly vision from Our Lord, an encounter that forever changed him. These voices told him to return to his hometown of Assisi, where he shocked his wealthy family by renouncing the trappings and finery of his father, a prosperous merchant involved in the silk trade.
The statue shown below, however, depicts this saint in his humility. After he renounced the world, he began to identify with the poor.
This Saint Francis sculpture is a beautiful resin statue that stands 37-inches high and is 14.5-inches wide. It is designed to withstand UV rays, if you plan to use it in your garden.
Following his deep conversion, Saint Francis, whose birth name was Giovanni di Pietro di Bernadone, even began giving away his worldly goods. These were distributed to the poor. On one occasion, he donating part of the family fortune to one beggar, until his father realized what he was doing, and put an end to this practice.
Saint Francis suffered from ridicule in his home town, from people who knew him previously. They did not understand what he was doing, and assumed he had lost his mind.
Eventually, he left Assisi to live in Rome, where he spent time preaching in the street and living with beggars, even going so far as to adopt their lifestyle.
Saint Francis Garden Statues
He spent the rest of his life in poverty, something his followers still try to emulate. He is the founder of the Franciscan order, which now has numerous religious and lay members around the world.
A lifelong pacifist, Saint Francis strove to exist in harmony with all, animals included. This is why he is considered the patron saint of animals. Catholic parishes around the world often celebrate his feast day, on October 4, with a blessing of animals. Nowadays, this usually means cats and dogs. In another age, farm animals were blessed.
This statue shows Saint Francis with two of God’s creatures. It’s cast from resin, and stands 19-inches in height and 17-inches in width. Like the one above, it’s also designed to be UV resistant.
Saint Francis Outdoor Statues
Images of Saint Francis often show him with a bird or two perched nearby. This is because on one occasion, he was in the woods, and decided to preach to the birds. On cue, a group of birds flocked to “hear” him speak.
Statues of Saint Francis also show him with a wolf. That’s because one of his missionary trips took him to the Italian town of Gubbio. The townsfolk had been terrorized by a wolf, whom had killed both humans and livestock.
Saint Francis, ever the peacemaker, was able to broker a deal with the beast. His hunting was driving by hunger. If the people of Gubbio agreed to feed him, he’d stop attacking them. Afterwards, the attacks ceased.
The hand-painted statue of Saint Francis shown here is 22-inches high.