Saint Francis of Assisi was the founder of the Franciscan Order, born in Assisi, Italy. Francis was an was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher although he was never ordained to Catholic priesthood, he was one of the most revered religious figures in history. Francis was proclaimed a saint by Pope Gregory IX. He was the patron saint of animals and the environment. Saint Francis Preparatory High School where I spent my 4 great years of my life undoubtedly got their name from the Patron Saint of Animals. There is a status of Francis in the front of the school with his arms open and welcoming anyone who walks by.