Who could that possibly be? Probably the most famous animal lover from the Church St. Francis himself. He’s been declared the patron saint of the environment by JPII and there’s even a story of him throwing himself into a bed of roses only discover that they thorns had disappeared. So why should this lowly 13th century man matter in our 21st century society? Even in his time, Francis saw that humans were abusing nature. “These creatures minister to our needs every day; without them we could not live and through them the human race greatly offends the Creator every time we fail to appreciate so great a blessing.” (Legend of Perugia 43). There are several stories about he tamed a man eating wolf that terrorized Gubbio, he would preach to the birds, and he would even lift worms on the path in front of him so that he wouldn’t walk over them. It may not be to this extent, but can we not still learn to commune with nature just as Francis had all those years ago? He learned that the earth was an essential part of our lives as it was a gift from God and any gift that special should be taken care of.
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