Saint Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order, was born in Assisi, Italy over eight hundred years ago. A humble and compassionate man, Francis regarded all living things as his brothers and sisters.
According to tradition, the gentle Francis once preached a sermon to the birds. In this bronze sculpture, Madeline Butcher shows the Saint's head tilting upward, as if to greet the winged inhabitants of the Morris Arboretum.
In 1980, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Saint Francis of Assisi the patron saint of ecologists.