Francesco D’Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone (Assisi, 1181/1182 – Assisi, 3 October 1226), was an Italian religious and a poet. He is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion; proclaimed, together with St. Catherine of Siena, the main Patron of Italy on 18 June 1939 by Pope Pius XII, on 4 October the liturgical memorial is celebrated throughout the Catholic Church (feast in Italy; solemnity for the Franciscan family).
Deeply ascetic, he was also known as “the poor man of Assisi”, because of his choice to strip himself of all material goods and lead a minimal life, in total harmony of spirit. He was a complex figure who lived a very personal spirituality of dispossession.
Pope Francis highlighted this attitude of the saint by consecrating the Sanctuary of the Spoliation in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (Assisi) in Assisi.
Thanks to his Canticle of the Creatures, he is recognized as one of the initiators of the Italian literary tradition. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, elected Pope in the conclave of 2013, took the pontifical name Francis in honor of the saint of Assisi, the first in the history of the Church.
The city of Assisi, by reason of its illustrious citizen, has risen to be a symbol of peace.