St. Francis of Assisi
Also known as: St. Francis
Religious leader. His story is one of the most important, and most moving, in the history of values. After a false start as a soldier, he preached and practiced a true imitation of Christ, eschewing all worldly possessions as part of a life of service to others, especially the poor, an idea which was revolutionary then and now. Just when things looked dark, however, his simplicity and sincerity persuaded the Pope that he was not a threat, and he was able to found the Franciscan Order of Monks.
He is also especially well known for his love of nature and of animals and birds.