"If you have
men who will exclude any of God's creatures
from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
-- St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of
Assisi practiced true equality by showing honor, respect, and love to every person whether
they were beggar or pope.
Francis' brotherhood included all of God's creation. Much
has been written about Francis' love of nature but his relationship was deeper than that.
We call someone a lover of nature if they spend their free time in the woods or admire its
beauty. But Francis really felt that nature, all God's creations, were part of his
brotherhood. The sparrow was as much his brother as the pope.
In one famous story, Francis preached to hundreds of birds
about being thankful to God for their wonderful clothes, for their independence, and for
God's care. The story tells us the birds stood still as he walked among him, only flying
off when he said they could leave.
Another famous story involves a wolf that had been eating
human beings. Francis intervened when the town wanted to kill the wolf and talked the wolf
into never killing again. The wolf became a pet of the townspeople who made sure that he
always had plenty to eat.
Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the
patron saint of ecologists and merchants.
(The above was taken from Catholic Online Saints)