This is the Pet Saints blog, so let’s start introducing them. Probably the saint most popularly known for patronage of animals is St. Francis of Assisi. There are two stories that establish this connection (1) preaching to birds and (2) taming the wolf.
…Francis was traveling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to “wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds”. The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away….
…Another legend from the Fioretti tells that in the city of Gubbio, where Francis lived for some time, was a wolf “terrifying and ferocious, who devoured men as well as animals”. Francis had compassion upon the townsfolk, and went up into the hills to find the wolf. Soon, fear of the animal had caused all his companions to flee, though the saint pressed on. When he found the wolf, he made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf to come to him and hurt no one. Miraculously the wolf closed his jaws and lay down at the feet of St. Francis. “Brother Wolf, you do much harm in these parts and you have done great evil…”, said Francis. “All these people accuse you and curse you… But brother wolf, I would like to make peace between you and the people”. Then Francis led the wolf into the town, and surrounded by startled citizens made a pact between them and the wolf. Because the wolf had “done evil out of hunger”, the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly, and in return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks.
There are a lot of great depictions of St. Francis of Assisi…we include the one here with him preaching to the birds, but the one by Giotto di Bondone of St. Francis receiving the stigmata (he was the first stigmatist!), is so dramatic, showing him getting zapped in his hands feet and side, that we are including it in this post (even though it doesn’t have anything directly to do with pets).
So far, on Pet Saints, we’ve featured a dog and a cat (necklace)…today, we feature the Green Aquarium website of Brian Albert. The Green Aquarium is mostly about aquatic plants, but Brian also knows all about aquarium fish. Check out his site, get some of his plants for your fish pals!
IF you are on Facebook, you can find Brian’s page there with lots more photos