Saint Francis of Assisi was born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone. Aside from being the patron saint of animals and being one of the most venerated religious figures in the Catholic Faith, he was a Roman Catholic friar, deacon and preacher.
Legend has it that St. Francis of Assisi preached to the birds and other creatures as well as to humans. He is known today as the patron saint of animals and the environment. His image is often placed in gardens in respect for his interest in all things natural.