St. Francis was born in Assisi, Italy to a wealthy family. One day St. Francis was walking with his friends and spotted a vast number of birds great of all sorts. Filled with great joy, St. Francis left his party road and ran to the birds. As he greeted the birds, they moved not. Amazed by this he asked them if they would stay and hear the Word of God. After listening to his message the birds gazed at St. Francis. St. Francis then walked right through the middle of them, turned around and came back. He blessed the birds, giving them the Sign of the Cross. After the birds departed, St. Francis rejoined his friends and wondered aloud why he had never preached to birds before. From that day forward, St. Francis preached to all animals. During his life, St. Frances would speak to many animals and have them obey his commands. In one case St. Francis quieted a flock of noisy birds that were interrupting a religious ceremony. It is said that the birds remained quiet until the sermon was over.
St. Corbinian: Bears
Feast Day: September 8
St. Corbinian was born near Mulen, France in the 7th century. According to legend a bear killed St. Corbinian's pack horse while traveling to Rome. As penance, St. Corbinian commanded the bear to carry his load. When they arrived at Rome he let the bear return to its native forest.
St. Ambrose: Bees
Feast Day: December 7
St. Ambrose was born in Italy and it is said that as an infant a swarm of bees settled on his face. When they flew off the bees left behind a drop of honey. St. Ambrose’s father believed this to be a sign that the baby will be eloquent and “honey tonged.” St. Ambrose was a successful, wealthy man. At 33 he became the governor of Milan. When the bishop of Milan died the city was divided in who would replace the old bishop: an Asian or a Catholic? It fell to St. Ambrose to decide, but he shocked everyone when he passionately spoke for peace in place of picking a side. While he was speaking, the crowd began to shot, “Ambrose for bishop.” While we may never know if the legend of the bees is true, it does appear that St. Ambrose was eloquent and “honey tonged.”
St. Gall: Birds
Feast day: October 16
St. Gall was born in Ireland and traveled helping to setup new monasteries until he fell ill in 612. After that time he lived in Switzerland. St. Gall is noted for miraculously performing an exorcism for Fridiburga, who was engaged to King Sigebert II of the Franks. Fridiburga was possessed by demons, before St. Gall tried to exercise her when two different bishops had failed to exorcise them. During St. Gall’s exorcism the demons flew out of the woman's mouth in the form a black bird.
St. Kevin: Blackbirds
Feast Day: June 3
St. Kevin was born at the Fort of the White Fountain in Leinster, Ireland. Once he became ordained he became a hermit living in the Valley of the Two Lakes located in Glendalough. It is said that one day while lifting his hands to heaven a blackbird came and landed in it laying an egg. St. Kevin took compassion on the little bird and egg and did not move his hand till the egg hatched. This legend has become quite famous as a poem written by Nobel prizewinner Seamus Heaney.