On May 18th, I will attempt the Rugged Maniac to raise money for the American Cancer Society, to raise awareness of the Duskin and Stephens Foundation and to face many fears in the hopes of living a more bold and joyful life. I would say these reasons are “good,” and reflect the motto on my most recent tattoo thanks to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation: “Let us do good,” a reference to Saint Francis of Assisi.

I mentioned it to someone the other day when they asked about my tattoo and they said, “who is Saint Francis of Assisi?” I was speechless, but then again, I was also raised Catholic. I am also notoriously terrible at history though so I sympathize. A lot of information has gone into my head over the years, but my recall button is broken.

Anyway, here is what I would say in response: He was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher who was born in the late 1100’s and died in 1226. He was officially designated the Patron Saint of Italy, but is often remembered as the patron saint of animals and the natural environment (Source: Wikipedia).

Saint Francis is most famous for abandoning the life of luxury he was born into after hearing the voice of God which commanded him to live in poverty and rebuild the Christian church. He lived a life of poverty and is renowned for love, simplicity and his devotion to Christianity (Source: Biography.com and Encyclopedia.com).

Here are a couple quotes I love from Saint Francis:

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

We do not have to be Catholic to be inspired by the example and words of Saint Francis. The concept of giving up everything worldly and comfortable and living in poverty voluntarily is beyond my imagination. I love the last quote above because it reflects the fact that actions speak louder than words. Thank God for Saint Francis.

With simplistic love,

Nikola Rosa