Assisi essay introduction

Through sheer force of habit perhaps, Francis wanted to be fully involved in his old, carefree way of living, as the popular son of a rich merchant, but he began having dreams and visions that compelled him to attend to his inner journey. Soon, however, he got an opportunity to set off again, this time hoping to join the army of Walter de Brienne. To become a knight had been his dream as a child. However, something happened on the way. He turned back from the expedition to Apulia and also found himself unable to resume his former life. His next encounter came on when he was out riding in the country one day.

He was approached by a leper seeking alms. Francis was about to toss a few coins and ride by when he was overcome by a feeling of deep pity. Francis had a dread of lepers, but when he saw the grotesquely disfigured man approaching, he stopped, climbed down from his horse, brought the outcast close and kissed him.

From then on, he began to visit the sick with frequency, withdrawing from the company of his friends and spending more and more time in prayer. On another day, not long after the leper incident, Francis was in the ruined church of San Damiano, outside Assisi.

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Repair it for me. He was sure God had spoken to him.

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There he sold the cloth and the horse as well. Francis walked back to San Damiano, found the priest, and offered him a bag of money. Thoroughly upset and disappointed, Francis tossed the bag on to a window ledge and left. Understandably, his father was furious when he heard what his son had done. In the noisy public life of Assisi, everyone was aware of the tension growing between Francis and his father.

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This was the culmination of a process that has been going on for a long time: Francis, continually plunged in reverie and spending his days in lonely wanderings in the fields, was no longer of the least use to his father. Months passed, and the distance between the two men grew ever wider; Sabatier 54 In the end, however, Francis left home and lived rough out in the open, sleeping in caves and begging for food.

But his father would not let go of him so easily. He accused him of stealing, and Francis was ordered to appear before the court of the Bishop of Assisi.

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Francis arrived at the trial with the bag of money in his hand. He had gone back to San Damiano and found it still on the window ledge. He took off all his clothes and placed them beside the bag. Thus, before the bishop and the townspeople of Assisi, Francis repudiated his father, returning his money and even all his clothes. The Bishop, however, draped his cloak around Francis and sent a servant to find some old clothes for him to wear. He would be a knight after all, serving Jesus, the King.

For the next two years, besides caring for lepers, Francis was busy repairing two or three ruined churches. He worked with his own hands, begging for stones and anything else he needed. He lived alone and prayed.


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He studied the sun, moon and stars, the wind and rain, the trees and flowers. He had a special affection, or affinity, for all birds and animals, fish and insects. He called them his brothers and sisters. Go two by two. No money. No extra clothes or food.

There is no need to wear shoes or carry a staff. It was February 24, , and he was twenty-six years old. Francis believed that the gospel was addressing him directly, and he immediately designed a uniform to express his newly found vocation of evangelical poverty — the habit and rope cincture still worn by Franciscans.


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From then on Francis walked barefoot and wore a long rough tunic tied around his waist with a rope. He started visiting the marketplace in Assisi and there talking about God. Gradually people stopped, and listened Robson Within a few weeks, three men asked if they could join him, and he agreed. But first they had to sell everything they had and give their money to the poor.

Saint Clare of Assisi - Franciscan Media

One of them, Bernard, was very wealthy indeed. But there were no exceptions. They all had to wear the same simple clothes as Francis. They had to work with their hands to earn any food or clothes they needed; otherwise they had to beg. At night they slept in huts made of woven branches, in caves, or under the sky.

After a year, Francis had eleven or twelve companions. Together these seekers of God wrote down a few rules describing how they should live. Then they walked to Rome, where they saw the Pope, and he gave his approval of their way of life. The year saw the birth of the Franciscan order. Francis called the group Friars Minor, which means lesser brothers. He did not want them to have a grant, important-sounding name. Humility was of the essence. The number of companions, or brothers, grew rapidly. Men and women of all classes were attracted to his life of radical poverty.

Soon they were traveling farther and farther — to Spain, Germany, and North Africa. On one occasion, Francis himself traveled to Egypt, where some Crusaders were fighting.

He was horrified by the killing and suffering of war. This was what he had dreamt to be a part of, the war, the glory and the heroism. Instead, he ended up being the total opposite. She too wanted to live a life of prayer and poverty, and Francis welcomed her. She was given a tunic like his to wear and her long hair was cut off. Then she went to live in a house with a garden around it, close by the church of San Damiano that Francis had repaired. Before long other women joined her.

In those days, women could not travel freely or speak in public places as Francis and other brothers of the order did, so they led a quiet life, praying for hours and gardening. Today there are still women who live like them, they are known as Poor Clares.

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By , Franciscan friars, with their evangelical mission, numbered more than five thousand and traveled far beyond Europe. Eventually, Francis was so well loved that when he came to a town or village the church bells were run, children clapped and waved branches in the air, and people ran toward him and tried to touch him. His greeting was always: God give you peace. And then he spoke simply and clearly, using word s that everyone would understand.

Even when he was famous, and there were hundreds of brothers, he was still the same Francis in his rough patched tunic. The man who loved peace spent many hours in prayer and called himself the champion of lady poverty. Yet he was still a man who liked to joke and sing and tease his friends.

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However, Francis had no vocation or talent as an administrator. By , he resigned as head of the order. He continued to alternate between periods of solitude and contemplation and intense preaching missions. In the following years, he used to experience the rare phenomenon of stigmata, where the saint would so much identify himself with the crucified Christ that the wounds of crucifixion would spontaneously appear on his body. He died on October 3, , at the Portiuncola, the little church outside Assisi where he first came to realize his vocation of evangelical poverty twenty two years before, and was buried in San Giorgio.

Two year later, he was canonized, and two years after that his body was transported to a basilica built to commemorate his extraordinary spiritual journey. Francis struggled throughout his life to answer two simple questions: Who are you, God? From the experience of this essential unity, Francis was transformed into a man of peace. Free Essays words 2 pages Preview. Francis of Assisi St. Francis is considered a legendary hero and a popular saint.

He was born in , the middle of a time of great increases and expansions in the medieval West, in Assisi, the place where this was strongest. His parents were Pietro and Pica Bernardone. His father was a wealthy silk merchant. Francis spent his childhood in extravagant living and pleasure-seeking. He was always in trouble and ran around Assisi with his friends, eating, drinking, and having a good time Good Essays words 3 pages Preview. His fath er was Pietro Bernadone, a very wealthy cloth merchant. His baptized name was Giovanni but it was changed to Francesco.