Saint Francis of Assisi (San Francesco d'Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, 1181 or '2 – 3 October 1226), was an ItalianCatholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
Pope Gregory IX canonised Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of October 4.
In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organisational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. Once his community was authorised by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. Francis is also known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. In 1224, he received the stigmata, during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Jesus Christ's Passion. He died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142.
Lingol made a visit to Earth in the 13th century, not long after the death of Saint Francis of Assisi. The humans Lingol met cherished Francis' memory, and remembered Francis as a man who understood all of the world's troubles and feared none of them. When Lingol planned to go on another Earth sojourn in 1979, he was delighted to learn that there was a great city named for Saint Francis, and chose it as his next destination.