Life of St. Francis of Assisi


Paul Sabatier (Editor)

Series: Historical Figures

BISAC: REL070000

Francis of Assisi is pre-eminently the saint of the Middle Ages. Owing nothing to church or school he was truly theodidact, and if he perhaps did not perceive the revolutionary bearing of his preaching, he at least always refused to be ordained priest. He divined the superiority of the spiritual priesthood. Saint Francis of Assisi (Italian: San Francesco d’Assisi), born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226), was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is often remembered as the patron saint of animals. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. Francis is also known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy making him the first recorded person in Christian history to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Youth

Chapter 2. Stages of Conversion

Chapter 3. The Church about 1209

Chapter 4. Struggles and Triumphs

Chapter 5. First Year of Apostolate

Chapter 6. St. Francis and Innocent III

Chapter 7. Rivo-Torto

Chapter 8. Portiuncula

Chapter 9. Santa Clara

Chapter 10. First Attempts to Reach the Infidels

Chapter 11. The Inner Man and Wonder-Working

Chapter 12. The Chapter-General of 1217

Chapter 13. St. Dominic and St. Francis

Chapter 14. The Crisis of the Order

Chapter 15. The Rule of 1221

Chapter 16. The Brothers Minor and Learning

Chapter 17. The Stigmata

Chapter 18. The Canticle of the Sun

Chapter 19. The Last Year

Chapter 20. Francis’s Will and Death

Critical Study of the Sources

Appendix. Critical Study of the Stigmata and of the Indulgence of August 2

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