Saint Francis of Assisi and the Kennedy Family
Senator Robert F. Kennedy and his son, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., were named for Saint Francis. St. Francis may be their adopted patron saint. When Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., was growing up his family home was in Georgetown. In the garden there was a religious statue of Saint Francis. Their next home was in the country in northern Virginia. The gardens of this Virginia home were filled with statuary and shrines celebrating the life of Saint Francis and his friars.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. decorated his childhood room with pictures portraying Saint Francis and his life. Robert's parents read him and his brothers and sisters stories from the life of Saint Francis, such as "little flowers" and "Saint Francis and the wolf".
The summer parish of the Kennedy family is St. Francis Xavier Church, Hyannis, MA. A pretty Roman Catholic Church...
Saint Francis' life and the legends of his life became an inspiration to the life of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. At home he has two Saint Francis shrines in his Mount Kisco, New York, garden, numerous books about the life and stories of Saint Francis. He and his wife read stories of Saint Francis and recite his prayer at bed time with their children. Mr. Kennedy has written a children's book about the life of Saint Francis.
Saint Francis is the Patron Saint of the Animals and the Enviroment. Kennedy's connection with Saint Francis has extended to Kennedy's work. In his work he has become involved in protecting the environment. This began when he was hired by the Hudson Riverkeepers as their chief prosecuting attorney. He has been involved with the fight to protect New York City's water supply. He is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, which is over 100 environmental groups working to protect waterways in North America. He is a clinical professor and supervising attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University School of Law. He speaks out about protecting the enviroment at fund raising functions and other events, he says not only for ourselves but for our children.