Saint Francis of Assisi (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Through the rejection of material values and the establishment of the Franciscan Orders, Francis of Assisi contributed to the reform movement of the medieval Church during the early thirteenth century.
Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone, better known as Francis of Assisi, was born around 1181 in Assisi, Umbria, Italy. He was the son of Pietro and Pica di Bernardone. His father was a prosperous merchant, and Francis grew up in a comfortable environment and developed an appreciation of life’s pleasures. Francis was provided a Latinist education at the school associated with the Church of Saint Giorgio in Assisi. Based on his later demonstrations of knowledge of contemporary French literature and art, and the works of the famous French troubadours in particular, it has been assumed that he received instruction in French language and literature sometime during his formative period. His family’s prosperity and his extroverted personality resulted in Francis being recognized as a promising young leader not only in Assisi but throughout Umbria; he was expected to assume a prominent position in the political and economic life of his society.
In about 1202, Francis participated in a war between Perugia and Assisi and was captured and imprisoned; released by the Perugians in 1203, he returned to Assisi in poor health. After a prolonged period of recuperation, he attempted to renew his...
(The entire section is 1896 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!