St. Francis of Assisi
Patron Saint of animals, merchants, ecology.
Acrylic on canvas
This was a long-time-coming commission for my friend Ian. The painting includes motifs echoing St. Francis’ love of nature and simplicity. He is wearing a simple green tunic, symbolizing growth, with leaves and flowers also echoing growth. He holds three birds in three different colors, representing faith, hope, and love. And the white dove represents Christ. St. Francis also bears the stigmata, depicted by his bleeding, bandaged hands.
About St. Francis
For all of my saints, I do some research so to add symbolism to the motifs within the painting. In his early years, St. Francis was a hardcore partier. He came from a rich family and he thoroughly enjoyed the privilege that allowed. Although originally named after John the Baptist by his mother, Francis was given his new name once his father returned, angered that his wife had named their son after a man of the cloth, a profession Francis’ father did not want for his son. Francis was charming and business savvy and took to the family merchant trade easily. In a pursuit for glory, Francis joined the military to pursue knighthood. But on the way to his first battle, he had a vision from God who told him to return home. So, in humiliation, Francis followed and returned home. His full conversion took time, but Francis was eventually called to rebuild the church. So he literally rebuilt the San Damiano church by hand. Eventually, Francis rebuilt more than just a church. He started the Franciscan order—one known for their humble lifestyle and renouncing of possessions.
Prayer of St. Francis
on the back of all of my saints, and often my commissioned paintings, I write the saint’s prayer on the back of the painting to bless the painting and the home it will inhabit.
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joyO divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life