Saint Francis has always been special in my life. My Omi (grandma) has always had a statue of him for as long as I can remember in a planter in front of her house. He is holding out his hand feeding birds and looks so peaceful. I often find myself looking at him and smiling. Maybe it’s because of his love for animals, like birds. Or maybe it is because he’s surrounded by plants and flowers and looks so content being there. Either way, he’s always been with me.
As I looked around this Italian town of Assisi where he was born, I saw hills and mountains full of greenery and a river down below. The church was very old and simple and had paintings on its upper floor. The streets were narrow, rocky, and winding. The old buildings were beautiful and looked like they were from some sort of Medieval village you would see in a movie. There were lots of pilgrims here, too. I assume they were here to see where St. Francis was born and also buried. It was very pretty here and quieter than the other places we visited. The town people also seemed nicer and sweeter to tourists. I read that St. Francis loved beauty and was a picky eater just like me. His faith was not built immediately by God. It took him lots of years and through prayer he was finally able to feel God’s joy. I like him and now I know why he has always been a part of my life. Like my Omi, he loved everyone regardless of who they were or what they had to offer.
Anik Scherf 3/30/19