I have been aware of St Francis for most of my life, first learning about this inspirational man at school. I was delighted when the pope took his name. But who was he, and what does he have to do with ecology?

Francis was born in Umbria, Italy on 4 October 1181 into a wealthy mercantile family. After renouncing that way of life, he led a band of brothers caring for the destitute and living a simple life of prayer and poverty. They saw God through Nature and often spoke about the equality of every living being. Like Greta Thunberg today, Francis was an urgent voice for nonviolence, in contrast ...


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