Francis of Assisi Term Paper

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Saint Francis of Assisi was born at Assisi in Umbria in either 1181 or 1182, the exact year of his birth is uncertain, and died there October 3, 1226 (Saint pp). One of several children, he was born into a wealthy family (Saint pp). His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a successful cloth merchant and his mother, Pica is said to have come from a noble family of Provence (Saint pp). Francis was baptized Giovanni, later however, his father altered his name to Francesco (Saint pp). Francis grew up as a privileged citizen by indulgent parents who satisfied his every whim (Saint pp). He was handsome and gallant and so enjoyed the finer offerings in life that one biographer referred to him as "the very king of frolic" (Saint pp).

Francis was around twenty years of age when he was captured prisoner during a skirmish with the Perugians, and while held in captivity it is said that he became gravely ill and began to reflect on his life (Saint pp). When he regained his health, he embraced the military career and was to accompany Walter of Brienne, into battle when the night before he was to leave he had a dream in which he saw a long hallway hung with armor marked with the Cross (Saint pp). In the dream a voice said, "These are for you and your soldiers," and believing that this meant he would be a military great, he eagerly left for battle (Saint pp).

However, he fell ill again and during the illness he had another dream in which the same voice urged him to go back to Assisi, which he did (Saint pp).

When Francis returned to Assisi, it was obvious to his friends that he had changed somehow, and when asked if he planned to marry, he replied, "Yes, I am about to take a wife of surpassing fairness," meaning the Lady Poverty "whom Dante and Giotto have wedded to his name, and whom even now he had begun to love" (Saint pp). Francis began to pray, meditate, and reflect upon his life, and one day he unexpectedly came upon a leper, and the sight of this poor soul so repulsed Francis that he at first retreated, but then returned to embrace the man and give him all the money he had (Saint pp). He also made a pilgrimage to Rome where he emptied his purse at the tomb of St. Peter, and exchanged clothes with a beggar and spent the remainder of the day fasting with the other beggars at the door of the basilica (Saint pp).

Shortly after his return to Assisi, Francis was praying at the chapel of St. Damian, when again he heard a voice saying, "Go…

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Francis of Assisi.

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