Five holy masses will be celebrated at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City, today, October 4, in solemn commemoration of the feast of one of the most popular saints of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Francis of Assisi, the revered founder of the Order of the Friars Minor (OFM), also known as the Franciscans.
The Eucharistic celebration will be held at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and at 5 p.m. The afternoon masses will be streamed live. Only about 100 persons will be allowed inside the church per mass.
St. Francis’ feast day coincides with the observance of World Animal Day, which is held in remembrance of his unbounded love for nature and all creatures. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment.
Born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone in 1181, St. Francis founded the OFM in 1209 and in 1212, he co-founded with St. Clare, the Order of the Poor Clares. In1220, he set up the first known Nativity scene (Belen) in Greccio, Italy. In 1224, he received the gift of a phenomenon known as the stigmata, or the five wounds of Christ.
He died on October 3, 1226 and was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on July 16, 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated patron saint of Italy.
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