(Saint) (October 4) (13th century) Saint Francis, Founder of the great Order of Friars Minor, styled “the poor man of Assisi,” was born in that town (Central Italy) A.D. 1182. In consequence of his lavishing his substance on the starving poor of the neighbourhood, his father, a rich merchant, insisted on his renouncing all right to his inheritance. This with great joy of spirit he solemnly and publicly did, in presence of the Bishop of Assisi. Thenceforth he gave himself up utterly to the service of the poor, living a life poorer even than theirs. Disciples flocked to him at his little chapel called the Portiuncula, so that when the new Order celebrated its General Chapter in A.D. 1219, five thousand Friars attended it. The practice of poverty was the great characteristic of the Begging Friars, for not only individually, but collectively, they refused to own anything at all. Their Rule was approved by Pope Innocent III and again by his successor, Honorius III. The Saint himself to the day of his death went about doing good, journeying even into Palestine and Egypt. It was in the year 1224, on the desolate Mount Alvernia, that Saint Francis received the Stigmata, or Impression on his flesh of Our Lord’s Five Sacred Wounds, in memory of which event the Church has instituted a special festival. Saint Francis died at Assisi A.D. 1226, and was canonised two years later. His relics were officially examined and reenshrined in the nineteenth century. The famous annual Portiuncula Indulgence and the widespread Third Order of Saint Francis are proofs of the enthusiastic following the ” poor man of Assisi ” has to this day among both clergy and laity.
- Monks of Ramsgate. “Francis of Assisi”. , 1921. Saints.SQPN.com. 5 May 2013. Web. 17 March 2014. <>