Before the birth in the late 12th century of Giovanni Francesco diBernardone—the man whom we know today as St. Francis—religious life was private, contemplative and monastic. Francis envisioned a different type of religious life, and he led a revolution. He chose as his symbol the Greek letter Tau, because he saw in its shape the open arms of a friar’s robe. Before Francis, those arms probably would not have been outstretched; they would have been clasped in front of the friar’s body in silent prayer. After Francis, those arms were extended widely to embrace a life of caring for the poor, sick and injured.
Today, more than 800 years later, those arms remain open and outstretched. In fourteen communities across Illinois and Wisconsin, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation stands steadfast and strong in our commitment to bring life-giving and life-saving health care to people in need.