Where Was Saint Francis Of Assisi Born

Saint Francis of Assisi

The legend has it that Saint Francis of Assisi left a life of luxury for a life dedicated to Christianity after he claimed to have heard the voice of God, who instructed him to rebuild the Christian church and live in abject poverty. He is revered as the patron saint of environmentalists.

Who Was Saint Francis of Assisi?

Saint Francis of Assisi, who was born in Italy about 1181, was well-known for his penchant for drinking and partying throughout his adolescence. As a result of his participation in a war between Assisi and Perugia, Francis was taken and held captive for ransom. He was imprisoned for about a year while awaiting payment from his father, during which time, according to mythology, he began seeing visions from God. Following his release from jail, Francis was visited by the voice of Christ, who instructed him to reconstruct the Christian Church and live a life of frugality.

Thestigmata of Christ – markings that resemble the wounds Jesus Christ sustained while on the cross — were said to have been bestowed to Francis later in life, making him the first person to be endowed with such sanctifying wounds.

Over the course of his life, he also acquired a profound love for nature and animals, and he is today renowned as the patron saint of the environment and animals; his life and words have had a long-lasting impact on millions of followers around the world.

Early Life of Luxury

Saint Francis of Assisi was born about 1181 in Assisi, Duchy of Spoleto, Italy, and, despite his widespread veneration today, he began his life as a confessed sinner. His father was a wealthy textile trader who owned acreage in the area around Assisi, and his mother was a lovely Frenchwoman who lived in the same house as his father. While in his youth, Francis was not in want; rather, he was spoilt, indulging himself with high-quality cuisine, exquisite wine, and extravagant parties. By the age of 14, he had dropped out of school and gained a reputation as a troubled adolescent who regularly drank, partied, and violated the municipal curfew.

Francis of Assisi gained the talents of archery, wrestling, and riding while growing up in such a rich environment.

He stopped thinking about a future as a merchant and instead began daydreaming about his potential future as a knight; knights were Medieval action heroes, and if Francis had any desire, it was to be a war hero like them.

Not long after that, the opportunity for combat would present itself. When a battle broke out between Assisi and Perugia in 1202, Francis jumped at the chance to serve with the cavalry. He had no idea at the time how his involvement in the war would alter his life for the rest of his life.

War and Imprisonment

It was an all-out assault on Francis and his men, who, faced with overwhelming numbers, were forced to flee. After a short while, the entire battlefield was covered with the bodies of massacred and mangled soldiers who were screaming in pain. The majority of the Assisi troops who survived were executed on the same day. Francis was caught by opposing forces rather fast since he lacked military experience and was unskilled. Because he was dressed in the manner of an aristocrat and wearing fine new armor, the soldiers determined that he was worth a reasonable ransom and opted to spare his life.

Francis would be forced to live in such deplorable circumstances for about a year while waiting for his father’s payment, during which time he may very easily have caught a deadly sickness.

After the War

Francis’ ransom was accepted after a year of talks, and he was freed from jail in 1203. Francis, on the other hand, was a quite different person when he returned to Assisi. On his return, he was in grave risk of being mentally and physically ill. He had become a battle-fatigued war victim. Francis, according to tradition, came across a leper one day while riding his horse through the countryside near where he lived. Prior to the war, Francis would have fled away from the leper, but on this particular occasion, he acted in a far different manner than usual.

  • He subsequently described the event as “a sensation of sweetness” in his mouth after kissing the leprosy.
  • His previous way of life had lost all of its attractiveness to him.
  • As opposed to working, he began to spend an increasing amount of time in a distant mountain retreat as well as in ancient, silent churches in the Assisi area praying, seeking answers, and assisting in the care of sick people.
  • The Voice of Christ purportedly instructed Francis to restore the Christian Church and to live a life of severe poverty.
  • He began preaching in the vicinity of Assisi and was quickly joined by a group of 12 devoted disciples.

In either case, Francis of Assisi swiftly gained notoriety across the Christian world, whether he was truly touched by God or was merely a man who misinterpreted hallucinations brought on by mental illness and/or bad health at the time.

Devotion to Christianity

Immediately following his conversion experience at the church of San Damiano, Francis had another life-altering encounter that would forever change him. In order to gather funds for the reconstruction of the Christian church, he sold a bolt of cloth from his father’s store, as well as his horse, to earn money. When his father found out about his son’s deeds, he grew enraged and took him before the local bishop, where he was sentenced to prison. His reaction was exceptional when he was told by the bishop that he needed to return his father’s money.

  1. According to tradition, this encounter marked Francis’ ultimate conversion, and there is no evidence that he or his father ever spoke to one other again after this point.
  2. Unfortunately for him, the first persons he saw on the route were a gang of dangerous robbers who brutally beat him up before fleeing.
  3. From this point forward, he would live his life in accordance with the Gospel.
  4. Francis and many others were concerned that the long-held apostolic values had been undermined since the Christian church was extremely wealthy, much like the individuals who led it.
  5. Francis embarked on a quest to restore Jesus Christ’s own, original principles to the church, which had become degenerate.
  6. They listened to Francis’ teachings and adopted his way of life; as a result, Francis’ followers were known as Franciscan friars.
  7. He even went so far as to preach to animals, which drew the ire of some and gave him the moniker “God’s idiot” as a result.
  8. A vision, according to legend, occurred in 1224, leaving Francis with the stigmata of Christ — markings that resemble the wounds Jesus Christ experienced when he was crucified, which were visible through his hands and a gaping lance hole in his side — on his body.

They would be visible to him for the remainder of his natural life. A number of people feel that the wounds were actually signs of leprosy, maybe as a result of his previous experience treating patients with the disease.

Why Is Saint Francis the Patron Saint of Animals?

Today, Saint Francis of Assisi is known as the patron saint of ecologists, a designation that honors his unwavering devotion to animals and the natural world.

Death and Legacy

As Francis neared death, many prophesied that he would be canonized and become a saint in the making. Francis returned to his hometown as his health began to deteriorate more rapidly. Knights from Assisi were dispatched to protect him and ensure that no one from the surrounding towns attempted to kidnap or steal him (the body of a saint was viewed, at the time, as an extremely valuable relic that would bring, among many things, glory to the town where it rested). Francis of Assisi died on October 3, 1226, in the Italian city of Assisi, at the age of 44.

On July 16, 1228, Pope Gregory IX, who had previously served as his protector, canonized him as a saint, less than two years after his death.

Following the death of Saint Francis in 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio made the decision to commemorate him by adopting his name and becoming Pope Francis.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is St. Francis of Assisi?

St. Francis of Assisi, ItalianSan Francesco d’Assisi, baptized Giovanni, renamed Francesco, in fullFrancesco di Pietro di Bernardone, (born 1181/82, Assisi, duchy of Spoleto—died October 3, 1226, Assisi; canonized July 16, 1228; feast day October 4) was the founder of the Franciscanorders of the Friars Minor (Ordo Frat In addition, he was a leader in the evangelicalpoverty movement that began in the early 13th century.

A large number of people were attracted to him by his evangelistic zeal, dedication to poverty, generosity, and personal appeal.

Italian patron saints St.

Early life and career

Frenchman Francis was the son of Pietro di Bernardone, a textile merchant, and the lady Pica, who may have been a Frenchwoman who had settled in Italy. Francis’s father was gone on a business trip to France at the time of his birth, and his mother had him christened as Giovanni instead. However, upon his return, Pietro changed the infant’s name to Francesco, possibly because of his interest in France or because of his wife’s family heritage. Francis learnt to read and write Latin in the school near the church of San Giorgio, and he also gained some knowledge of the French language and literature.

  1. He enjoyed speaking French (though he was never able to do it flawlessly) and even attempted to sing in the language on occasion.
  2. A battle between Assisi and Perugia took place in 1202, during which he was imprisoned for over a year before succumbing to acute illness after his release.
  3. During his voyage, however, he had a vision or dream that foretold that he would be summoned back to Assisi to await the call to a different form of chivalry.
  4. Several other events contributed to Francis’ conversion to the apostolic life, including a vision of Christ while praying in a grotto near Assisi; an encounter with poverty while on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he mingled with beggars outside St.
  5. In one event, he not only gave alms to an aleper (who he had always regarded with a strong dislike), but he also kissed his hand (he had previously regarded lepers with deep dislike).
  6. Francis was told to go and rebuild his house, which, as you can see, was in shambles by the crucifix above the altar.
  7. After that, he attempted to offer the money to the priest at San Damiano, but was refused, prompting Francis to toss the money out of a second story window.

When Francis declined to appear before the bishop of Assisi, his father summoned him before the court of appeals.

Nevertheless, from now on, I may really say: “Our Father who art in heaven.” The bishop, who had been taken aback, handed him a cloak, and Francis departed for the woods of Mount Subasio, which towered above the city.

As part of his restoration work, he renovated the church of San Damiano, rehabilitated a chapel dedicated to St.

Mary of the Angels (Santa Maria degli Angeli), which is located in a plain below Assisi.

Matthias, on February 24, 1208, he sat in the audience and listened attentively to the story of Christ’s mission to the Apostles from the Gospel of Matthew.

And whichever town or villa you enter, find out who is deserving of your attention and stay with him till you go.” Francis exclaimed, “This is what I desire; this is what I am seeking,” according to Thomas of Celano, and this was the turning point in his life.

From the depths of my heart, this is what I want to do.” He then took off his shoes, threw away his staff, put on a shabby garment, and began preaching repentance to the congregation.

Biographies for Kids: Saint Francis of Assisi

History, biographies, and the Middle Ages for children

  • He was a Catholic friar who was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182 and died in Assisi, Italy in 1226. He is most well-known for his work in founding the Franciscan Order.

St. Francis of Assisi was a Catholic Franciscan who chose to live a life of poverty rather than enjoy a life of luxury. He founded the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor and the Poor Ladies’ Order of Poor Ladies, both of which are still in existence today. Saint Francis of Assisi is a saint from the Italian town of Assisi. Jusepe de Ribera is the author of this piece. Infancy and Adolescence Francis was born in the Italian town of Assisi in 1182. As the son of a wealthy textile trader, he grew up in a privileged environment and enjoyed a good education.

  • His father wished for him to pursue a career in business and educated him on the French way of life.
  • Francis was apprehended and put into custody.
  • Visions from the Almighty Francis continued to have visions from God throughout the following three years, which profoundly influenced his life.
  • At first, he believed that God had called him to fight in the Crusades, but he was mistaken.
  • Finally, while praying in a church, Francis received a message from God, telling him to “fix my church, which is in shambles.” Francis bequeathed all of his wealth to the church.
  • Francis subsequently left his father’s home and vowed to live in poverty for the rest of his life.
  • The more Francis lived a life of poverty and taught to the people about the life of Jesus Christ, the more people began to flock to him and emulate his example.
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He had one fundamental rule, which was “to follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps.” He also had a few other rules, but these were the most important.

He and his disciples headed to Rome in order to obtain the sanction of the Pope for the establishment of their religious Order.

These folks were filthy, impoverished, and reeked of rotting flesh.

Orders from Other Sources The Franciscan Order flourished as more and more men joined and took poverty vows.

As well as the Franciscan Organization, he founded another order (later known as the Third Order of Saint Francis) for men and women who did not take vows or abandon their employment, but who instead carried out the principles of the Franciscan Order in their daily lives.

Francis was well-known for his admiration of the outdoors and animals.

It is stated that he was chatting to some birds one day when they began to sing in unison as if they had heard him.

Francis was also rumored to have the ability to tame wild creatures.

The residents of the community were alarmed and unsure of what to do in the situation.

The wolf initially snarled at Francis and appeared to be preparing to attack him.

The wolf eventually grew tame, and the village was no longer in danger.

In 1226, he passed away while singing Psalm 141. His canonization as a saint by the Catholic Church came barely two years after his death. Here are some interesting facts about Saint Francis of Assisi.

  • The feast day of Saint Francis is celebrated on October 4th
  • It is stated that he suffered the stigmata two years before he died on this day. In 1220, Francis set up the first known Nativity scene to celebrate Christmas, which depicted Christ’s wounds from the cross, including his hands, feet, and side
  • Francis traveled to the Holy Lands during the Crusade, hoping to conquer the Muslims through love rather than war
  • Francis believed that actions were the best example, telling his followers to “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.”
  • Francis traveled to the Holy Lands during the Crusade, hoping to conquer the Muslims through
  • Activities
  • Listen to an audio recording of this page being read: The audio element cannot be played because your browser does not support it. More topics related to the Middle Ages include: BibliographyHistoryBiographiesWorks Cited The Middle Ages for Children

St. Francis of Assisi – Saints & Angels

He was born in Assisi, Umbria, in 1181 and is considered the founder of the Franciscan Order. When Pietro Bernardone returned from a journey to France in 1182, he was surprised to discover that his wife had given birth to a son. Pietro was unhappy with his wife because she had named their infant kid Giovanni after John the Baptist, rather than being happy or regretful about his absence. It was the last thing Pietro wanted in his son: a man of God. Instead, he desired a man of business, someone who would follow in his father’s footsteps as a textile trader, and someone who would share his passion for France.

  1. Francis was adored by everybody – and I mean all – from the beginning of his life.
  2. If he was choosy, people were willing to overlook it.
  3. If he was such a big dreamer that he did poorly in school, no one seemed to worry.
  4. No one attempted to exert control over him or teach him anything.

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  2. Help Now After growing up, Francis rose to the position of leader of a group of young people who spent their evenings at crazy parties.
  3. During that period, Francis himself admitted that “I lived in sin.” Francis met and exceeded all of Pietro’s expectations, even falling in love with France.
  4. And, despite his fondness for fantasy, Francis was also a skilled businessman.
  5. more important than material prosperity But not in the case of holiness!
  6. He believed that battle was the most effective way to achieve the honor and distinction he desired.
  7. The battle resulted in the slaughter of the majority of Assisi’s forces.

Francis was now able to live among the nobles, as he had always desired.

According to all reports, he never lost his cheerful demeanor even in that dreadful location.

Strangely enough, the encounter didn’t appear to have any effect on him.

The encounter had no effect on what he desired from life: fame and fortune.

Prior to departing, Francis needed to acquire a set of armor and a horse, which was not a problem for the son of a wealthy father.

Any sense of comfort we might have had upon hearing that Francis had given the cloak to a poor knight will be shattered by the claims that Francis left behind, claiming that he will return with a prince in his place.

He had a dream in which God warned him that he had made a mistake and that he should return to his hometown.

When the youngster who wanted nothing more than to be loved returned without ever making it to fight, he was embarrassed, laughed at, and branded a coward by his community, and his father was furious at him for wasting money on armor.

Francis’ conversion did not occur over night; it took time.

Francis began to devote greater amounts of time to prayer.

God’s grace has the ability to overwhelm him with delight at times.

There was a company to run and clients to attend to, so she had to hurry.

Francis, the guy who admired beauty, who was particular about his meals, and who detested ugliness, had come face to face with the leper.

Francis was ecstatic when his kiss of peace was returned to him by the other person.

He always saw it as a test from God, which he had successfully completed.

In the midst of his prayer, he heard Christon the crucifix speak to him, telling him to “restore my church.” Francis took this to mean church with a little c, which he supposed to refer to the collapsing structure he was now in.

Francis’ father regarded this as a theft, and when combined with Francis’ timidity, squandering of money, and developing indifference in money, Francis came off as more of a lunatic than his son.

Francis refused.

Francis didn’t require any further explanation.

Then, in front of the assembled audience, he declared, ” “My father, Pietro Bernardone, is no longer alive.

In the end, when robbers beat him up and stole his clothing from him, he clambered out of the ditch and started singing his heart out again.

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Francis returned to the path he believed to be God’s calling.

Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the within, while heresies on the outside thrived by appealing to individuals who were looking for something new or more daring than what the Church had to offer.

(Despite his protests, he was eventually elevated to the rank of deacon, albeit he was never consecrated as a priest).

Francis must have been aware of the degradation in the Church, yet he treated the Church and its members with the highest reverence throughout his life.

Slowly, Francis’s associates began to arrive, individuals who want to follow in his footsteps of sleeping in the open, asking for food from garbage cans, and adoring God.

He read the mandate to the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the needy, the order to the apostles to take nothing with them on their journey, and the demand that they take up the cross on a daily basis, among other things.

He was going to do something that no one thought was possible any longer: he was going to live his life according to the Gospel.

Francis was never interested in establishing a religious order since, to this former knight, the idea seemed too militaristic.

They came from all walks of life, from fields and cities, aristocracy and commoners, colleges and the Church, as well as merchants from all classes and social classes.

Pope Francis considered all of God’s creation to be members of his brotherhood.

When someone spends their spare time in the woods or takes pleasure in its beauty, we refer to them as a nature lover.

The sparrow was just as much a brother to him as the Pope was.

According to the tale, the birds remained still while he strolled among them, only flying away when he instructed them to do so.

Francis was present when the villagers attempted to kill the wolf and persuaded the wolf to refrain from killing anybody else.

Francis and his friends walked out to preach two by two, literally following the Gospel’s instructions.

People even ran away from them for fear of contracting this odd craziness themselves!

Because shortly after, these same individuals noted that these barefoot beggars carrying bags appeared to be bursting with perpetual happiness.

And individuals had to question themselves: Is it possible to possess nothing and be content with one’s life?

Francis did not seek to eradicate poverty; rather, he sought to elevate it to a sacred status.

They labored to provide for all of their needs and only begged when absolutely necessary.

It was his instruction that they should regard monies as though they were stones in the path.

Also, Francis reasoned, what could you possibly do to a man who possessed no property?

They were completely at liberty.

His simplicity of living extended to his thoughts and acts as well.

As a result, when Pope Francis sought approval for his fraternity, he traveled directly to Rome to visit Pope Innocent III.

You can only imagine his reaction. In reality, he ejected Francis from the building. Nevertheless, when Francis appeared in a dream, he promptly summoned him back and granted him permission to preach in the Lateran basilica, which was tilting at the time of the dream.

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  • “In other respects an exquisite youth, he attracted to himself a whole retinue of young people addicted to evil and accustomed to vice,” wrote Thomas of Celano, his biographer, who had a close relationship with him.
  • Specifically, he adored the songs of France, the romance of France, and, above all, the free-spirited, adventurous troubadours of France who wandered the continent.
  • Francis, on the other hand, was looking for something more substantial.
  • French nobleman and knight Francis had aspirations of being noble and a knight himself.
  • Assiside declared war on their long-time adversary, the nearby town of Perugia, and he was given his first opportunity to strike back.
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They were only taken prisoner because they were wealthy enough to expect to be ransomed.

but imprisoned in a harsh, dark dungeon is the only option.

He was eventually ransomed after a year in the dungeon.

In the aftermath of the battle, he threw himself into partying with the same zeal and abandon that he had before.

His dream was finally realized when he received an invitation to join the Fourth Crusade as a knight.

Furthermore, not just any suit of armor would suffice, but rather one that was lavishly embellished with gold and boasted an equally impressive cloak.

Francis, on the other hand, never made it more than a day’s ride from Assisi before he was captured.

He did, in fact, go back home.

There was no overnight transformation in Francis’ life.

As time went on, Francis began to devote more time to prayer.

God’s grace had the ability to fill him with joy on occasion.

Customers needed to be served, and there was a company to manage.

Francis was repulsed by the look and stench of the leper, yet he nonetheless hopped down from his horse and kissed the leprosy on the hand.

The leper had vanished by the time he turned back for one more wave before riding away.

San Damiano is an antique church in Tuscany that he discovered while on a hunt for conversion.

He stole fabric from his father’s store and sold it to raise money to rebuild the church, which he did in his characteristically impulsive fashion.

Francis was hauled before the bishop and in front of the entire town, where Pietro ordered that Francis return the money and relinquish all rights as his inheritor.

All Francis required was to hear just one sentence.

He stood in front of the assembled throng and announced, “My father, Pietro Bernardone, is no longer living.

In the end, when robbers beat him up and stole his clothing from him, he clambered out of the ditch and started singing his way away again.

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It was only after begging for stones that he was able to rebuild the San Damiano church with his own hands, unaware that it was the Church with a capital C that God desired to be reconstructed.

Francis began preaching shortly after.

It seems likely that Francis was aware of the rot in the Church, yet he treated the Church and its members with the highest respect.

A small group of followers began to gather around Francis – individuals inspired by his life of sleeping on the streets, begging for food from the rubbish, and adoring God above all else.

To the affluent young man, he read, “Sell all you have, and give it away.” He read, “Sell everything you have, and give it away.” He read, “Take nothing with you on your trip,” and “Take up your cross everyday.” It was as easy and seemingly impossible as that for Francis to say, “Here’s our rule:” he was going to do something that no one else believed was possible any longer: he was going to live his life according to the Gospel.

  • It is said that Francis took these commandments so literally that one of his brothers was ordered by Francis to go after the thief who stole his robe and offer it to him.
  • he saw his actions as an expression of God’s brotherhood, and he took great pride in them.
  • Whether he was a beggar or a pope, Francis demonstrated real equality by treating everyone with honor, respect, and love.
  • Nature was a great passion for Francis, and his relationship with it was more than just a passing fancy.
  • The nature, as well as all of God’s creatures, were, nonetheless, included in Francis’ sense of brotherhood.
  • Hundreds of birds listened intently as Francis talked about being thanks to God for their beautiful attire, their independence, and God’s protection in one well-known anecdote.
  • The account of a wolf who had been consuming human people is another well-known legend.

Townsfolk took a like to the wolf and took care to provide him with enough food supplies.

It was understandable that the audience were antagonistic to these individuals dressed in rags who were attempting to speak about God’s love.

They were absolutely correct.

Their lives were a celebration.

Those who had met them with dirt and rocks were soon greeted with bells and smiles by those who had met them with nothing.

The sleeve of their uniform would be enthusiastically ripped off by his friars when they saw someone who was poorer than they were.

The money, on the other hand, was refused by Francis.

If we had any assets, we would need guns and laws to safeguard them,” Francis responded when the bishop expressed his dismay at the friars’ difficult life.

What could you possibly do to a man who has nothing, Francis reasoned?

There was a genuine sense of liberation among the participants.

In addition to thoughts and acts, his simplicity of life extended to others.

To get approval for his fraternity, Francis traveled directly to Rome to meet Pope Innocent III, who granted his request.

You can only imagine the Pope’s reaction when this beggar approached him! In reality, he expelled Francis from the house. Nevertheless, when Francis appeared in a dream, he promptly called him back and granted him permission to preach in the Lateran basilica, which was tilting at the time.

San Francesco of Assisi – A Family story

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  2. Help Now After growing up, Francis rose to the position of leader of a group of teenagers who spent their nights at wild parties.
  3. Francis himself admitted that he “lived in sin” during that period.
  4. He adored the songs of France, the romance of France, and, above all, the free-spirited, adventurous troubadours of France who wandered the streets of cities all across Europe.
  5. Francis, on the other hand, desired more.
  6. In his dreams, Francis wanted to be a nobleman, a knight.
  7. Assi declared war on their long-time adversary, the nearby town of Perugia, and he was given his first opportunity.

Only those who were wealthy enough to expect to be ransomed were captured and held as prisoners.

but imprisoned in a harsh, dark dungeon is the alternative.

After a year in the dungeon, he was finally released.

He threw himself into the partying with the same zeal and abandon that he had shown before the battle.

Finally, a call for knights for the Fourth Crusade provided him with an opportunity to realize his dream.

And not just any suit of armor would do, but one that was lavishly decorated with gold and accompanied by a magnificent cloak.

Francis, on the other hand, never got more than a day’s ride away from Assisi.

And he did return home.

Francis’ conversion did not occur over night, as some believe.

Francis began to devote more time to prayer.

God’s grace had a way of overwhelming him with joy at times.

There was a business to run, and customers to attend to as well.

Francis was repulsed by the appearance and smell of the leper, but he still jumped down from his horse and kissed the leper’s hand.

As he rode away, he turned around for one final wave and noticed that the leper had vanished.

In his pursuit for conversion, he came to the medieval church of San Damiano in Tuscany.

Once again, he acted in a hasty manner, stealing fabric from his father’s store and selling it to raise funds to rebuild the church.

Pietro hauled Francis before the bishop and in front of the entire town, demanding that Francis return the money and relinquish all rights as his successor.

That was all Francis needed to hear at that moment.

He stood in front of the gathering throng and stated, “My father, Pietro Bernardone, is no longer in my life.

And when robbers beat him later and seized his clothing, he crawled out of the ditch and started singing again.

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Francis returned to what he believed to be God’s calling.

Scandal and greed were working on the Church from the within, while heresies on the outside thrived by appealing to individuals who were looking for something new or more adventurous in their lives.

(He was never consecrated as a priest, however he was eventually ordained as a deacon against his opposition.) Francis was not a reformer; rather, he lectured on the need of returning to God and obeying the church.

When he was informed of a priest who was living openly with a woman and asked if this meant that the Mass had been defiled, Francis went to the priest, knelt before him, and kissed his hands – for those hands had held God.

Francis realized that he needed some form of guidance in this life with the help of his colleagues, so he opened the Bible three times.

It was as easy and seemingly impossible as that when Francis remarked, “Here is our rule.” He was going to do something that no one thought was possible anymore: he was going to live his life according to the Gospel.

Francis was never interested in founding a religious order since, to this former knight, the idea seemed too militaristic.

They came from all walks of life, from fields and towns, nobles and commoners, colleges and the Church, as well as merchants and the merchant class.

Pope Francis considered all of God’s creation to be part of his brotherhood.

We refer to someone as a nature lover if they spend their spare time in the woods or take pleasure in its beauty.

The sparrow was as much a brother to him as the pope was to him.

According to the narrative, the birds remained still while he strolled among them, only flying away when he signaled that they could.

Francis intervened when the villagers planned to kill the wolf and persuaded the wolf to swear he would never murder anybody else.

Francis and his friends went out to preach in pairs, literally following the Gospel’s instructions.

People even fled from them for fear of contracting this bizarre craziness!

Because shortly after, these same individuals noted that these barefoot beggars carrying sacks appeared to be always ecstatic.

And people had to question themselves: Is it possible to be content with nothing?

Francis did not want to eradicate poverty; rather, he attempted to make it sacred.

They worked for whatever they needed and only begged when they had to.

Coins, he instructed them, should be treated as if they were stones in the path.

Furthermore, Francis reasoned, what could you do to a guy who possessed no property?

They were totally unfettered by any constraints.

His simplicity of living extended to his thoughts and actions.

As a result, when Francis sought approval for his fraternity, he traveled directly to Rome to visit Pope Innocent III.

You can image the Pope’s reaction when this beggar came up to him! As a matter of fact, he expelled Francis from the house. Nevertheless, when Francis appeared in a dream, he promptly called him back and granted him permission to preach in the Lateran Basilica, which was tilting at the time.

Who was St Francis of Assisi? Everything You Need to Know

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  3. “In other respects an exquisite youth, he attracted to himself a whole retinue of young people addicted to evil and accustomed to vice,” wrote Thomas of Celano, his biographer and a close friend of his.
  4. Francis lived up to every expectation of Pietro, even falling in love with France.
  5. And, despite his dreaming, Francis was also a successful businessman.
  6. more important than material possessions But not holiness, please!
  7. Battle was the most effective means of achieving the glory and prestige he desired.
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The battle resulted in the slaughter of the majority of the Assisi troops.

Finally, Francis was able to live among the nobility, as he had always desired.

After a year in the dungeon, he was finally freed.

He threw himself into partying with as much joy and abandon as he had before the battle.

Finally, a call for knights for the Fourth Crusade provided him with an opportunity to pursue his dream.

And not just any suit of armor would do, but one that was lavishly embellished with gold and topped off with a magnificent cloak.

Francis, on the other hand, never made it more than a day’s ride away from Assisi.

And he did indeed return home.

Francis’ conversion did not occur overnight.

Francis began to spend more time in prayer.

God’s grace had the ability to fill him with joy at times.

There was a business to run and customers to attend to.

Francis was repulsed by the leper’s appearance and smell, but he still got off his horse and kissed the leper’s hand.

As he rode away, he turned around for one last wave and noticed that the leper had vanished.

His search for conversion led him to the ancient church of San Damiano.

He took fabric from his father’s shop and sold it to raise money to repair the church, which was another example of his impetuous nature.

Francis was hauled before the bishop and in front of the entire town, where Pietro demanded that Francis return the money and renounce all rights as his heir.

That was all Francis needed to hear.

He addressed the gathered crowd by saying, “Pietro Bernardone is no longer my biological father.

And when robbers beat him later and took his clothes, he climbed out of the ditch and went off singing once more.

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Francis returned to what he believed to be God’s call.

Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the within, while outside heresies proliferated by appealing to individuals who were looking for something unusual or daring.

(He was never consecrated as a priest, however he was eventually ordained as a deacon against his protests.) Francis was not a reformer; rather, he preached about returning to God and obedience to the Church.

When someone informed him of a priest who was living openly with a woman and asked him if this meant that the Mass had been defiled, Francis went to the priest, knelt before him, and kissed his hands – for those hands had held God.

Francis realized that he needed some form of guidance in this life with the help of his buddies, so he opened the Bible in three locations.

It was as easy and seemingly impossible as that for Francis to say, “Here’s our rule.” He was going to do something that no one thought was possible any more – he was going to live his life according to the Gospel.

Francis had no desire to start a religious order since, to this former knight, the idea seemed too militaristic.

His associates came from all walks of life, from fields and towns, nobles and simple people, colleges, the Church, and the merchant class.

Francis’ fraternity extended to all of God’s creation.

Someone is referred to as a nature lover if they spend their spare time in the woods or take pleasure in its beauty.

The sparrow was as much a brother to him as the Pope was.

According to the narrative, the birds remained still while he strolled among them, only flying away when he signaled that they may do so.

Francis intervened when the village planned to kill the wolf and persuaded the wolf to promise never to murder again.

Francis and his friends went out to preach in groups of two, practically following the Gospel.

People even fled from them for fear of contracting this odd lunacy!

Because soon after, these same individuals noted that these barefoot beggars wearing bags appeared to be always ecstatic.

And people had to question themselves: Is it possible to possess nothing and be content?

Francis did not seek to eradicate poverty; rather, he sought to make it sacred.

They worked for all of their needs and only begged when they had to.

He instructed them to treat money as though they were stones in the path.

Furthermore, Francis reasoned, what could you possibly do to a man who possessed no property?

They were totally liberated.

His simplicity of living extended to his thoughts and acts.

As a result, when Francis sought approval for his fraternity, he traveled directly to Rome to meet with Pope Innocent III.

You can image what the Pope’s reaction was when this beggar approached him! In reality, he ejected Francis from the house. Nevertheless, when Francis appeared in a dream, he promptly called him back and granted him permission to preach in the teetering Lateran basilica.

Francis of Assisi

Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! In the name of all of your creatures, particularly Sir Brother Sun, who is the day and through whom You provide us with light, praise be unto You, my Lord.” To think properly about Francis of Assisi is tough at the best of times. The gentle saint who preached to birds, tamed wolves, and padded about in flower-filled meadows, soaking in the love of God, is the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of St.

However, it is impossible to fathom how such a kind individual could have the ability to turn thirteenth-century Europe on its head.

If it’s even near to the truth, it becomes a little clearer as to why he had such an impact on his generation and every one that followed.

From hermit to itinerant

Giovanni Francesco Bernardone was given the name Giovanni Francesco Bernardone when he was born in Assisi, Italy, the son of a wealthy merchant. Francis was a worldly, carefree young guy when he was younger. According to an early biographer, “In the end, he completely wasted his time. Indeed, he outperformed all of his peers when it came to trifling matters.” In 1202, he marched forth to combat against the city of Perugia, full of the hopes and aspirations of a young man who wished to achieve military fame.

  1. That was followed by a year of recuperation at Assisi, during which Francis, now in his early twenties, underwent a gradual transformation.
  2. “Francis, go repair my house,” Christ said three times from the crucifix to him one day as he prayed in a decaying church on the outskirts of Assisi.
  3. Francis recognized that he was being called to restore the church in which he worshipped (though his followers would later interpret this as a summons to reform the church), and he began to sell off family belongings in order to collect funds for the renovations.
  4. He brought Francis before the local bishop in an attempt to coerce his son into altering his unseemly behavior and repaying him.
  5. During the duration of the conversation, Francis removed his clothing from his body and placed them in a nice pile in front of his father.
  6. The hermit went out of the church, intending to be alone in isolation and silence for as long as possible in order to “hear the mysteries that God may communicate to him,” according to a biographer.

He was in church one day when he read the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew: “Do not take any gold, silver, or copper in your wallet, nor a bag for your journey, nor two tunics, sandals, or a staff with you.” He took it literally and embarked on an itinerant existence, intending to live in total simplicity while preaching a gospel that, in his experience, typically included forceful exhortations to repent.

In the words of one early biographer, “He exposed wrong whenever he discovered it and made no effort to palliate it; from him, a life of immorality met with open denunciation, not encouragement.” Francis was a stricter disciplinarian than the public imagination would have you believe.

When he was speaking with a lady, he kept his gaze focused on the sky or the ground in order to prevent passion.

Francis, despite his contagious cheerfulness, despised laughter and frivolous talk of any kind. “Not only did he hope that he himself refrain from laughing, but he also wished that he should refrain from providing others with even the tiniest opportunity to chuckle.”

Timeline

1141 Hildegard of Bingen begins writing 1150 Universities of Paris and Oxford founded 1173 Waldensian movement begins 1182 Francis of Assisi born 1226 Francis of Assisi dies 1232 Gregory IX appoints first “inquisitors”

Giovanni Francesco Bernardone was given the name Giovanni Francesco Bernardone when he was born in Assisi, Italy, as the son of a prosperous businessman. Francis had a carefree and worldly existence as a young man. A biographer from the early 1900s wrote: “This man was a complete waste of space and time! His ability to excel in little matters set him apart from his peers.” A young man’s fantasies of military grandeur filled his heart as he marched forth to combat in 1202 against the city of Perugia.

  1. In Assisi, Francis, who was then in his twenties, spent the next year recovering from his illness, during which time he slowly began to change.
  2. “Francis, go repair my house,” Christ said three times from the crucifix to him one day as he prayed in a decaying church on the outskirts of Assisi.
  3. Upon realizing that he was being summoned to restore the church in which he worshipped (though his followers would later interpret this as his call to reform the church), Francis went about selling off family belongings in order to generate funds for the necessary renovations.
  4. In order to compel his son to change his unseemly conduct and to pay him back, he took him to the local bishop’s office.
  5. “Up until today, I addressed you as ‘father,'” he explained to him, “but now I can address you as ‘Our Father who art in heaven,'” he stated with complete sincerity.
  6. Following it, there were further sources of inspiration.
  7. The phrase was taken literally by him, and he embarked on an itinerant existence, intending to live in complete simplicity while preaching a gospel that was typically accompanied by forceful exhortations to repent.
  8. Winters were particularly difficult for him, and he would occasionally throw himself into an ice-filled ditch and remain there until every remnant of wicked desire had been extinguished.

Francis, despite his contagious cheerfulness, despised laughter and frivolous talk in general. The author writes, “He wished not only that he should refrain from laughing, but that he should prevent others from having the least opportunity to chuckle.”

Embracing death

Soon, his brothers (known as friars, and increasing in number as time went on) were making pilgrimages to France, Spain, Germany, England, Hungary, and Turkey, preaching the message of repentance, gospel simplicity, and radical obedience to Christ’s teaching. They were also establishing missions in other countries. As has been the case throughout history, corruption penetrated religious circles, while apathy pervaded the general public. Nevertheless, as one observer put it, as a result of the teaching of the Franciscan brothers and sisters, “persons of both sexes, affluent and worldly, have forsaken their belongings and, for the love of Christ, have turned their backs on the world.” In a nutshell, Francis had sparked a religious revival that would eventually extend throughout Europe.

The Rule that had suited a small band of Franciscans was no longer appropriate for the vast organization that the Franciscans were becoming.

Francis promoted the live creche during his final years as a way to draw attention to the poverty into which Christ was born.

As he approached his forties, sickness ravaged his body, eventually causing him to lose his sight altogether.

Francis earns his well-deserved reputation as a man who delighted in God’s creation via this poem: “Praise be You, my Lord, with all your creatures, particularly Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom You give us light.” In the poem, Francis also praises “Brother Wind,” “Brother Fire,” and “Sister Mother Earth,” as well as other elements of nature.

What a terrible fate awaits those who die in grave sin.

In the years after Francis’s death, the Franciscans continued to flourish and, in an odd twist for an order that had been instructed by its founder “to appropriate nothing for themselves, neither a home, nor a location, nor anything else,” they eventually grew rather wealthy.

An magnificent basilica was constructed at Assisi, and the remains of Francis were transferred there in 1230.

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