Saint Francis of Assisi
Francis was born at Assisi in Umbria in the early 1180’s. His fath er was Pietro Bernadone, a very wealthy cloth merchant. His baptized name was Giovanni but it was changed to Francesco. Francis received a decent amount of schooling as a child although he did not show much interest in it. He was very spoiled and did not want to go into his father’s business. He had high status, was handsome, wore fine clothing, and was very well known with the people of Assisi.
His city often had brawls with the rivaling city of Perugia. This was unfortunate,yet fortunate for Francis. He had gone along to join the fighting and was defeated and taken as a prisoner. It was unfortunate in that he was held captive for over a year and had gotten ill. It was fortunate because he began to think about great glory, which is the beginning toward his golden years.
When he had been released he was eager to take on a miliitary career. He was ready to face the emperor of the Neapolitan States along with a friend. It was then that he had a dream. He saw a hallway with armour hanging on the walls that had the cross on them. He heard a voice that said ?These are for you and your soldiers?. In 1205, he continued on his quest but was struck by illness once again. During the course of this, he had another dream. He heard the same voice he had heard in his previous dream and this time it told him to return back to Assisi.
When he returned, he gave up everything he owned. It disgusted him. In fact he got rid of so much that he left naked. Soon after, God had called on him to rebuild his church and so Francis ran and got enough money to have the church repaired. Upon his return to town, he was called a madman. It certainly did appear that he was. He had gone from being very wealthy to choosing to live a life of poverty.
Francis then lived a life of charity which included nursing lepers. His life influenced many people and some even decided to follow him. One of these people was St. Clare. These followers of his became known as Friars. Francis lived a life of helping others which he summed up with three vows for others to follow. These vows were obedience, poverty and chastity His service to the Lord was rewarded by receiving the stigmata. Francis died Octobed 3, 1226.
Saint Francis was a very unique saint. He began by living a very wealthy life to taking the vow of poverty. This saint teaches Christians to lose their desire for material things. One can be more happy if he is helping out those who are less fortunate. It is the those three vows that say it all, obedience, poverty and chastity. If one would want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, this is it how it can be done. This saint means alot to me because Francis was a young man with charisma and destined for a wealthy future but he gave it up for his religion. This makes me want to re-examine myself because I am young and hope for future success, almost like Francis. This is why he means so much to me because I can relate more to him than other saints.