Francis of Assisi
Feast Day: 4 October
Patron Saint of animals, ecology

This reliquary contains fibres from the bag of the 13th-century saint, Francis of Assisi. The fibres are an example of the importance attached to items that came into contact with saints—they could serve the same purpose as bodily relics.
Francis was the most influential saint of the later Middle Ages. Born the son of an Italian merchant, he devoted his life to living in imitation of Christ. With the endorsement of Pope Innocent III, he founded the Friars Minor in 1209, an order dedicated to absolute poverty. Among the many miracles recorded in connection with Francis was his receipt of the stigmata (the wounds of Christ).

Francis’ feast day (4 October) remains celebrated in both the Roman and Church of England calendars. The Bishop Grimes relic collection also includes ash from the body of the saint.

“It is my hope that the inspiration of Saint Francis will help us to keep ever alive a sense of ‘fraternity’ with all those good and beautiful things which Almighty God has created. And may he remind us of our serious obligation to respect and watch over them with care, in light of that greater and higher fraternity that exists within the human family.”

—From Pope John Paul II, Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace: Peace with God the Creator, Peace with all of Creation (1990)

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Relics from the Cathedral Collection...