Founding of the Franciscans (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The founding of the Franciscans represents the first time in Catholic Church history in which religious brothers and sisters are allowed to live in strict poverty, owning nothing, and the first time that men of a religious order are allowed to go about preaching as opposed to living in a monastery.
Summary of Event
Francis Bernardone was born in 1181 or 1182, the son of a cloth merchant. He was an ordinary young man, very popular with his friends, and he dreamed of knighthood and marriage. When war broke out between his home town and the neighboring Perugia, he found himself in prison, captured by the enemy. Pietro, his father, bailed him out, but Francis had contracted some illness. When he recovered, Francis was changed. He still went out with his friends, but he was more reflective and thoughtful.
When the pope called for a crusade, Francis had the chance to be a knight. His father dressed him in a new coat of armor and gave him a new horse, and Francis rode off to war. Within a short time, however, he again became ill and returned home. He went to the little church of San Damiano, which was falling down, and he heard the crucifix telling him to “Rebuild my church.” At first, Francis thought that he should buy or beg for stones to rebuild San Damiano. A turning point in his life occurred when he stole money from his father’s store to buy stones and his father demanded the money...
(The entire section is 1430 words.)
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