St. Francis Elementary School opened on November 5, 1895, as a two room school staffed by the Sisters of Mercy from St. Joseph’s Academy. The school, under their direction, expanded to grade twelve by 1947. Several years later, the high school was relocated, and the present site became an elementary school only. The current school was built in July 1924.
The town of Gubbio, where Francis first ministered to lepers, sits on the slopes of Mount Igino about 30 kilometers from Assisi and at one time was plagued by a vicious wolf. The stories of the infamous wolf were known throughout the area, and the people of Gubbio lived in fear. Francis decided to put an end to this problem and made his way to the town with one of his companions.
He explained his mission, and the townspeople begged the beloved Francis to remain within the town walls for protection, but Francis took his leave to meet the wolf. He took not a shield or a helmet, but asked his quivering companion to go with him. He made the sign of the cross and left the city gate.
Almost immediately, the wolf ran from its cover to meet the two men. Francis raised his arm and made the sign of the cross over the wolf and the wolf immediately stopped.
Francis spoke, "Brother Wolf, come here. In the name of Christ I command you not to harm anyone anymore." The wolf approached the saint and lay down at the feet of Francis. Francis continued, "Brother Wolf, you have done much harm, not only destroying creatures of God without mercy, but devouring men and women, too, who are made in the image of God. But though you do indeed deserve to be punished, the Lord wants you to make peace with all His creatures instead."
This offer of repentance was accepted by the wolf, who placed his paw in Francis' hand as a sign of agreement not to harm God's creatures anymore. Then Francis, his no longer shaking companion, and the wolf marched into Gubbio to the amazement of its citizens.
"Repent!" he called to the people of Gubbio. He also advised them to take care of Brother Wolf, who would not now be killing for his sustenance. So from then on, the wolf went form door to door receiving food and love from the people of Gubbio.
The Story of St. Francis
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) Patron Saint of Ecology..
St. Francis and the Wolf