Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why Everyone is Named Francesco...

Lately I have found that 50-75% of the males I meet in Italy are names Francesco...why you may ask? Well luckily one of my Francesco friends informed me that the Patron Saint of Italy is Saint Francis of Assisi...aka... Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone. He was a Catholic Deacon and the founder of the Orders of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment and it is customary for Catholic Churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. Francis called for simplicity of life, poverty, and humility before God. He worked to care for the poor, and one of his first actions after his conversion was to care for lepers. Thousands were drawn to his sincerity, piety, and joy. In all his actions, Francis sought to follow fully and literally the way of life demonstrated by Christ in the Gospels. His respect and appreciation for creation was so profound because it always led him to the Creator. For Francis, the Eucharist became the deepest source of support for his desire for cosmic peace and reconciliation. Just two years before he died, St. Francis said: "I beseech all of you, by whatever charity I can, that you show reverence and all honor to the most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, because (in Him) all things, whether on earth or in heaven have been pacified and reconciled with Almighty God". (Information taken from online) :)

So Now I know why every male here has the Francis...Francesco...I'm surprised more women do not have the name Catherine after Italy's other patron saint, but maybe I just need to meet more people :)


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