Among the stories associating Francis (1181--1226) with animals are the one about him giving a sermon to a group of rowdy birds and another about him taming the wolf of Gubbio, a creature who had attacked and killed a number of villagers before Francis spoke to him and took him on as a kind of disciple–after that the wolf never again harmed another living thing and peacefully followed Francis like a tame dog. The saint's rapport with nature, however, was hard won: Francis lived a rigorous ascetic life of long fasts, absolute poverty, and abandonment of attachment to all desires and material things. Through extremely strict discipline and self-denial Francis attained the mystical paradox of destroying the attachment to the self in order to be absolutely open to the world: the world of nature.
This one of a kind piece is hand carved by American artist Hank Schlau and hand painted by his wife Karen Schlau. Made of durable material that can be displayed both indoors and outdoors.
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