Saint Francis Of Assisi



     

 

     Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, but nicknamed Francesco (1181– October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Francis' father was a prosperous silk merchant. Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi. While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica. The experience moved him to live in poverty. Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon gathered followers. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. In 1224, he received the stigmata, making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion. He died during the evening hours of October 3, 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142 (141). On July 16, 1228, he was proclaimed a saint by Pope Gregory IX. He is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment, and is one of the two patron saints of Italy (with Catherine of Siena).




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