Little Flowers of Francis of Assisi is the name given to the classic collection of popular legends about the life of St. Francis of Assisi and his early companions (such as Brother Juniper). These poetic stories shed much light upon the genesis and development of the following of Saint Francis. The collection, one of the most delightful literary works of the Middle Ages, was translated into Italian by an unknown fourteenth-century friar from a larger Latin work, the ‘Actus B. Francisci et Sociorum Ejus’, attributed to Ugolino Brunforte. Or rather the fifty-three chapters which form the true text of the Fioretti were, for the four appendixes, on the Stigmata of St. Francis, the life of Fra Ginepro, and the life and the sayings of the Fra Egidio, are additions of later compilers. The first half of the collection reflects traditions that go back to the early days of the order; the other is believed to be substantially the work of Fra Ugolino da Monte Giorgio of the noble family of Brunforte. Saint Francis of Assisi abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. He was the founder of the Franciscan orders of the Friars Minor (Ordo Fratrum Minorum), the women’s Order of St. Clare (the Poor Clares), and the lay Third Order. He was also a leader of the movement of evangelical poverty in the early 13th century. Francis’s devotion to the human Jesus and his desire to follow Jesus’ example reflected and reinforced important developments in medieval spirituality. He was canonized as a saint just two years after his death, on July 16, 1228, by his former protector, Pope Gregory IX. In 1979 Pope John Paul II recognized him as the patron saint of ecology, honouring his boundless love for animals and nature.