Essay Saint Francis

Submitted By bdanilchuk1
Words: 1445
Pages: 6

St. Francis of Assisi Saint Francis of Assisi was born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181. He was the founder of the Franciscan Order. His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a wetly Assisan cloth merchant. His mother, Pica, is said to have belonged to a noble family of Provence. Francis was one of several children. According to a legend, he was born in a stable that dates from the fifteenth century only, and appears to have originated in the desire of certain writers to make his life resemble that of Christ. At baptism the saint received the name of Giovanni, which his dad changed to Francesco. The child was still able to learn French even though he was renamed. Francis received elementary teachings from the priests of St. George's at Assisi, even though he learned more in the school of the Troubadours. He was not very studious, and his literary education remained incomplete. Francis showed little liking for a merchant's career, and his parents seemed to have indulged him. Thomas was Francis's first biographer, who speaks very fond of him. No one loved pleasure more than Francis. Francis had a ready wit, sang merrily, enjoyed in fine clothes and showy display. He showed sympathy with the poor, and though he spent money lavishly. In 1201 he took part in an attack on Perugia, was taken hostage, and remained a captive there for a year. His mind began to turn to religion, but around 1205 he enlisted in another military expedition, to Apulia. However, he had a dream in which God called him to his service, and he returned to Assisi and began to care for the sick. In 1206, he had a vision in which Christ called him to repair his church. He resolved to become a hermit, and devoted himself to repairing the church. His father got angry at Francis' behavior, imprisoned him and brought him before the bishop as disobedient. Francis abandoned all his rights and possessions, including his clothes. Two years later he felt himself called to preach, and was soon joined by companions. When they numbered eleven he gave them a short Rule and received approval from Pope Innocent III for the brotherhood, which Francis called the Friars Minor. They traveled throughout central Italy and beyond, preaching for people to turn from the world to Christ. He relied on God's providence rather than worldly goods. The brothers worked or begged for what they needed to live, and any surplus was given to the poor. Francis turned his skills as a troubadour to the writing of prayers and hymns. In 1212 Saint Clara Sciffi, a girl from a noble family of Assisi, left her family to join Francis. She founded a sisterhood at San Damiano. One day while Francis and some friars were traveling along the road, Francis looked up and saw the trees full of birds. Francis "left his companions in the road and ran eagerly toward the birds" and "humbly begged them to listen to the word of God." One of the friars recorded the sermon, which overflows with Francis's love for creation and its Creator: "My brothers, birds, you should praise your Creator very much and always love him; he gave you feathers to clothe you, wings so that you can fly, and whatever else was necessary for you. God made you noble among his creatures, and he gave you a home in the purity of the air; though you neither sow nor reap, he nevertheless protects and governs you without any solicitude on your part." Thomas of Celano records that the birds stretched their necks and extended their wings as Francis walked among them touching and blessing them. This event was a turning point of sorts for Francis. "He began to blame himself for negligence in not having preached to the birds before" and "from that day on, he solicitously admonished the birds, all animals and reptiles, and even creatures that have no feeling, to praise and love their Creator." In time the brotherhood became more organized, when large numbers of people joined him. Eventually he wrote a more detailed Rule, which was further revised…