St Francis of Assisi, known for Pope Benedict XV, said: “He is the foremost culminate picture of Christ of all times,”; and for Dante Alighieri, he is the man “whose brilliant life would be way better sung within the wonderful choir” (Paradiso, XI, 95).
St Francis of Assisi is known for being born in Assisi and for being renounced from a life of wealth for a life of poverty and devotion to God and Jesus Christ. He rebuilt and restored churches, founded orders that live by his writings, and is considered the patron saint of animals and nature.
Francis’ simple but fiery words awakened in many souls the desire to give themselves to Christ. To serve him in extreme poverty. Among them was the young Clara Scifi, who left her father’s castle on the day of the Flower of 1212. And retired to the little church of St Damian. Where she was soon followed by other noble and generous young women. Under the guidance of Francis, the Second Franciscan Order for women the Order of Clarisse Nuns. It was founded and soon spread throughout Europe.
What was St Francis of Assisi main message?
After a war with Perugia, he was captured and imprisoned while being held for ransom. During his imprisonment, he had visions of God. In his early 20s, he turned his attention to God and led a godly path until he renounced worldly goods and his life of luxury. Francis repaired the church of San Damiano, established a chapel dedicated to St Peter the Apostle, and restored the chapel of St Mary of the Angels.
In 1209, Francis wrote a simple rule, the Primitive Rule, and the main message for his group of monks. The government was taken from the Bible: ‘Follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and walk in his footsteps. Francis and his 12 disciples then went to Rome, where they received the approval of Pope Innocent III to govern Franciscan life.
The Franciscan Order consisted of a group of street preachers who had nothing and only Porziuncola as a home. No other person may have tried to imitate the life of Christ and carry on his ministry as Francis did. He has been described as a nature lover, a social worker, a celebrant of poverty, and a preacher. He was so critical that his final work, the Testament, declared that poverty was an essential lifestyle for members of his order.
Biography of Francis of Assisi
Full name: Giovanni Francis
Year of birth: 1181-1182 AD
Year of death: 03.10.1226 AD
Place of birth: Assisi, Italy
Mother's name: Donna Monna Pica
Father's name: Pietro di Bernardone
Spouse: Saint Clare of Assisi O.S.C.
Summary of life: St Francis reaches a definitive point of breaking away from the world. In the city's cathedral square, before the bishop, Francis gives up all his possessions, even the clothes he was wearing, and returns them to his father. After this event, Francis had a brief experience in a monastery, after which he dedicated himself to assisting leprosy patients in Gubbio. Then, in Assisi, he begins the restoration of the small church of San Damiano.
Life accomplishments: Saint Francis, founder of three mendicant religious orders.
Death cause: Natural Causes.
What is inspiring about St Francis of Assisi?
In 1212, Francis organized an arrangement for ladies, Destitute Clares. For those who might not take off their lives or their families, he made the third arrangement of the Ministers and Sisters of the Destitute Clares, a society that did not require promises but, as it were, adherence to the standards of Franciscan life.
What is inspiring about Francis of Assisi’s life is that he gave a rich life and did it for poverty and a life dedicated to Christianity. In his wake, three orders were established that followed the laws he wrote based on the Bible. He was touched by God and told to continue his life of devotion.
He made another “Moment Run the show,” which Pope Honorius III endorsed within the bull Solet Annuaire and got to be the official run the show of the order. Francis had an involvement in 1223 when he was branded with the wounds of the executed Christ and got a most imperative message from God. Two long times afterward, he died in Assisi. He was briefly buried in the church of San Giorgio in Assisi and was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on July 15, 1228.
What are three facts about Saint Francis of Assisi?
According to historical sources, three critical things about Francis of Assisi are the following:
- He preached and spread his message and gained followers in and out of Italy
- Impacted Christianity with his teachings and lifestyle
- He was canonized two years after his death
Like the desert fathers, he had set his goal not to speculate or to know God theoretically but to live an evangelical life imitating Christ, as others had tried in the twelfth-century West.
How did St Francis of Assisi change the world?
He retreats to Mount Auvergne with four disciples who live in separate huts. Here he asked the Saviour to grant him the grace to follow him even in his passion and suffering, in the pain and love that made him bear this pain.
According to historical sources, St. Francis changed the world by converting many Muslims to Christianity. After learning of the martyrdom of the five, he leaves accompanied by twelve disciples to Egypt, the most powerful Arab country. The Sultan, even though he does not allow himself to be converted, is impressed and leaves him alive, which makes Francis believe that the time for Muslim conversion has not yet arrived.
St Francis of Assisi, known after this event, did not live much longer. Crippled by illness, he writes his Testament, asking his followers to respect his rule without interpreting it, lest their comments soften its severity or adapt it. Then, lying naked on empty ground, he gave his soul, aged only 44, on the evening of 4 October 1226.
How did St Francis of Assisi respond to God’s call?
One cannot speak of a theology in Francis, in the scholastic sense of the word, in the sense of theological speculation, any more than one can speak of such theorizing in the teaching of the Desert Fathers or other Eastern mystics.
According to historians, St Francis of Assisi is known for he responded to God’s call by renouncing a life of wealth and chose to become a monk historian of Christianity. None of the mystical experience of the Renaissance meets the stigmata in Francis’ life. He imitated Christ’s earthly life throughout his life, though His God-Man work is unrepeatable.
Perfection, for Francis, means “living the Gospel”. The Gospel is a personal, love-bearing word that demands a response, not scientific research. Francis has this attitude because in the West, both theology and spirituality, paradoxically separated, had become the subject of speculation without living.
- For Francis, poverty is not only one virtue among others, but it is the first condition to be fulfilled by anyone who wants to be perfect. Poverty is the return to the original state of man in Heaven, when man was empty. The poor man lives exclusively on his inheritance from the Heavenly Father.
- Choosing poverty is equivalent to being born again. Poverty is in its excellence comprehensive of the other virtues; it is that by which Christ redeemed us, it is the very quintessence.
- Francis, however, lived in the Roman Catholic Church, where Christ’s saving work was seen as a chivalric mission in which the Son, sent by the Father, assumes human nature and gives satisfaction, in its place, for the offense it brought to the divine nature through original sin.
His fascination, his spirit have been significantly received in the Orthodox Christian culture and spirituality of our country. Writers and theologians, as well as simple hierarchs and lay people, speak of the Saint of Assisi as a saint.
- Armstrong, R. J., Hellmann, J. W., & Short, W. J. (Eds.). (1999). Francis of Assisi-The Prophet: Early Documents, vol. 3: Early Documents (Vol. 3). New City Press.
- Chesterton, G. K. (2008). Saint Francis of Assisi. Hendrickson Publishers.
- House, A. (2003). So Francis of Assisi: A revolutionary life. Paulist Press.
- Le Goff, J. (2004). Saint Francis of Assisi. Therefore Psychology Press.
- Wolf, K. B. (2003). The poverty of riches: St. Francis of Assisi reconsidered. Oxford University Press.