Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

Italy’s president says we must stop pillaging nature to find peace

Environment News

On the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi, President Sergio Mattarella said the world will not find true peace until humanity stops ransacking the natural world.

As Mattarella visited Assisi for the feast of Saint Francis, in an apparent call for leaders to tackle the climate crisis, the president said humanity must stop pillaging nature in a search for peace.

 “Peace is not just the lack of combat but, as Saint Francis reminds us, harmony with Creation is (also) intrinsic to it,” Mattarella said.

“When resources are consumed to excess, when nature is pillaged, when inequalities between peoples are created, when the destiny of future generations becomes arid, peace moves further away.

“We must repair, give back. This is the most pressing issue of our time. And we don’t have any more time than this.

“It’s a task that concerns us all, no one is irrelevant. It’s a task that should be done together”.

 Who was Saint Francis of Assisi?

Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, better known as Saint Francis of Assisi, was a mystic Italian Catholic friar. He founded the order of the Franciscans and the women’s Order of St. Clare. He is also one of the most venerated figures in Christianity.

In 1223, he arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. Pope Gregory IX canonised him on 16th July 1228.

Francis later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment. His Feast Day is 4th October and along with Catherine of Siena, he is one of the  patron saints of Italy.

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