On October 4 of the Catholic Church celebrates the Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. For the Capuchins, as well as the other members of the three Orders, this day is a Solemnity of great import.
St. Francis was born in the town of Assisi in Umbria in either 1181 or 1182 (even the friars are not sure). The son of a wealthy merchant, Francis was a high-spirit if somewhat frivolous youth, who dressed in the finest of clothes and spent his family's money carelessly. Francis was taken captive at about the age of twenty in one of the many wars waged between Assisi and Perugia. Francis was held captive for about a year and after his eventual release suffered from a long illness. Upon his recovery the young Francis decided to join in the Pope's fight against the Germans under Walter de Brienne. While he was heading south en route to the battle, Francis heard a voice that instructed him "to serve the Master rather than the man." Francis promptly returned home, but he began to change. He would take long walks in the country by himself and spend periods in the solitude of nature. It was during one such walk that he came across the broken down Church at San Damiano. Kneeling down before the icon of Christ, a voice suddenly came to him from the image, "Francis, go and repair my Church which, as you see, is in ruins." And the rest, so they say, is history. To read more on the life of St. Francis click here
St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology. A lesser known fact, he is also the patron saint of Colorado.- the above in information was taken from http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/FRANCIS.htm