He turned away from his life of wealth and privilege to live with lepers, the untouchables of his society He preached the idea of the sanctity of all life, becoming an advocate of animal rights and environmentalism in a time when even human life often had little value He found joy in owning nothing, and giving everything away He was story of Saint Francis of Assisi and the story of his life is inspiring and radical And nowthan ever, it bears important messages for American children living in a culture of casual abundance and waste Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of Robert F Kennedy, Jr a father, a devout Roman Catholic, a crusader for clean air and water, and a member of a family famous for its dedication to public service It is no wonder, then, that this saint s story should resonate so powerfully with him Mr Kennedy has retold Francis s story as a lesson and inspiration for his own children and for children everywhere