Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi

Length: 1801 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-10/4/1226) was born into a well-off family unit at Assisi, Italy, the son of a wealthy merchant named Pietro di Bernardone. Francis received little formal education and during his formative years. As an adolescent, he was all the rage, attractive, appealing and was mostly preoccupied in having fun; enjoying practical jokes and was usually the central source of entertainment of the party. Francis was brought up in luxury and cheerfulness. He spent a substantial segment of his possessions in wasteful pleasures. He used to drink with the young princes of the land.

Once Francis was teasing and laughing with his friends. A beggar came along crying for alms. Francis was so sympathetic and kindhearted that he gave whatever he had in his pocket to the homeless person. His companions poked fun at him for his benevolent act. The sight of the beggar set him pondering about the poor quality and wretchedness of mundane life. He gave a great deal money to the poor. His father considered this act of Francis as waste of money and berated him.

Sometime after this, a battle broke out amid the men of Assisi and a neighboring city in 1202. Francis volunteered for it, but got captured after the first battle and exhausted a year in imprisonment. On his return to Assisi and was hailed as a hero. But during the course of his captivity he had undergone a reformation and reconstruction of character and outlook. Although he was once again picking up the tab In his social circles and parties, he was now questioning his reason for continuation. After sufficient consideration, including clear dreams and spiritualist mental pictures, he turned away all worldly gratifications, sold all his property and donated the money to the Church. He then began an enduring fervor of compassion for the sick and poor.

Later on, Francis was laid up in bed for many months on account of some serious disease. This experience of sickness was also instrumental in leading him to reflect on the purpose of life. Eventually the Lord put aside his sickness, as he had to accomplish a significant undertaking in his life.. Francis meditated and pleaded to the Peer of the realm for control and direction as to his future. He had a vision of Lord Jesus. He had a strong strength of mind to abandon and relinquish his previous fashion of livelihood, to stride a life of wholesomeness and spotlessness and to contribute his life to the overhaul of civilization.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Saint Francis of Assisi." 11 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Saint Francis of Assisi Essay

- Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-10/4/1226) was born into a well-off family unit at Assisi, Italy, the son of a wealthy merchant named Pietro di Bernardone. Francis received little formal education and during his formative years. As an adolescent, he was all the rage, attractive, appealing and was mostly preoccupied in having fun; enjoying practical jokes and was usually the central source of entertainment of the party. Francis was brought up in luxury and cheerfulness. He spent a substantial segment of his possessions in wasteful pleasures....   [tags: History Biography Saint Italy Assisi]

Free Essays
1801 words (5.1 pages)

Saint Francis of Assisi Essay

- 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....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
384 words (1.1 pages)

Analysis of The Canticle of Brother Sun Essay

- Saint Francis of Assisi was an Italian monk who founded the monastic order of the Franciscans. He was from a wealthy family and spent most of his youth carousing the streets of Assisi with other young nobles. After fighting in the war between Assisi and Perugia, he contracted an illness and had his first mystical experience. After he was healed, Francis had another mystical experience while praying in a neglected church: “After a period of prayer and meditation, Francis heard the voice of Jesus coming from a nearby crucifix: ‘Francis go, repair my house, which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin’.” It was this call that inspired Francis to leave Assisi, determined to live more simply...   [tags: Jesus Christ, Saint Francis of Assisi]

Research Papers
1913 words (5.5 pages)

Saint Dominic Guzman of the Dominican Order, Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Thomas Aquinas

- The importance of new religious orders that spread new ideas and customs of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries are as significant today as it was in the early history of Christianity. For Christians to look beyond the realm of what is great and informative of the early teachings there were three philosophers and theologians of that time. To discuss those three men of God, their ideas and knowledge were a great insight to a new and fresh tradition among their followers and congregations. These new orders instituted by Saint Francis and Saint Dominic and their emulators maintained and propagated the faith among the souls of men and the social intuitions throughout the empire....   [tags: Catholic Theology]

Research Papers
1905 words (5.4 pages)

Analysis Of The Book ' Francis Of Assisi : Performing The Gospel Life Essay

- General Overview Francis of Assisi is one of the most influential personalities in the entire world. In the book ‘Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life,’ Cunningham recounts the life of this humble monk who lived in the medieval times, and shaped the Christian life, which spread in Western culture throughout the rest of history. I believe Cunningham accurately accounts for the life of Francis of Assisi, and in doing so; he provides a trajectory of the Christian faith from its early and historical proponents through its fusion with western culture, and its subsequent spread throughout the world....   [tags: Catholic Church, Christianity, Francis of Assisi]

Research Papers
1375 words (3.9 pages)

Biography of Saint Francis of Assissi Essay

- Biography of Saint Francis of Assissi 1. Birth Saint Francis was born Giovanni Bernadone in either 1181 or 1182 in the Italian hill town of Assisi. His parents, Pietro and Pica, were members of the rather well-to-do merchant class of the town. Pioetro Bernadone was away in France when his son was born. On his return, he had the boy's name changed from Giovanni to Franceso (“The Little Frenchman”-perhaps a tribute to France, a country he loved and from which his wife's family came). Saint Francis of Assisi, was born in 1182, more probably in the latter year....   [tags: Saint Francis Italy Religion Essays]

Research Papers
3708 words (10.6 pages)

The Story of Saint Francis of Assissi Essay

- The Story of Saint Francis of Assisi Many people are familiar with or have traveled to San Francisco, a major city in California, but there is a story behind the city name; the story of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. The origin of the word San Francisco is Saint Francis, meaning that the city was named after this great saint. Long ago, in the year of 1181, a baby boy was born on the outskirts of Assisi, Italy. There is a legend that this boy, who we know as Francis, was actually born in a stable with animals, like Jesus....   [tags: famous catholic role models]

Research Papers
996 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Saint Clare of Assisi

- A Saint is a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and regarded in Christian faith as being in heaven after death. Saints are important to Catholics as they are role models and inspire young people who are a part of God’s Kingdom that have lived as Jesus taught. During their life, they have shown many virtues and have done many good deeds. They all have devoted their life to Christ and have performed many miracles. My Saint is Saint Clare Assisi. She became a saint as she devoted her life to Christ, did many good things for others, especially the poor, and performed many miracles....   [tags: Heaven After Death, Saint, Christian Faith]

Research Papers
1104 words (3.2 pages)

Saint Fancis Of Assisi Essay

- Saint Fancis of Assisi Saint Francis was born in 1182, in Assisi Italy. His real name is Giovanni Francesco Bernardone, but his father wanted him to be called Francis. He received very little education as a child, even though his father was a rich merchant. His father, Pietro di Bernardone, was a wealthy merchant, and his mother's name was Pica. Francis always dreamed about riding through the town as a hero. His father wanted Francis to learn about being a silk merchant, but Francis wasn't interested....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
694 words (2 pages)

Essay about St. Francis of Assisi

- St. Francis of Assisi St. Francis is considered a legendary hero and a popular saint. He was born in 1181, the middle of a time of great increases and expansions in the medieval West, in Assisi, the place where this was strongest. His parents were Pietro and Pica Bernardone. His father was a wealthy silk merchant. St. Francis spent his childhood in extravagant living and pleasure-seeking. He was always in trouble and ran around Assisi with his friends, eating, drinking, and having a good time....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1039 words (3 pages)

Francis' father turned him out of the house. Dissatisfied with his life, he turned to prayer and service to the poor, and in 1206 he publicly renounced his father's wealth. One account says that "He not only handed his father his purse, but also took off his expensive clothes, laid them at his father's feet, and walked away naked. He declared himself "wedded to Lady Poverty", renounced all material possessions, and devoted himself to serving the poor." His old friends even pelted him with stones and mud. Francis lived the life of a beggar and bore everything with staying power and lack of complaint. He wore a unrefined costumes and consumed minimal food.

In his day the most dreaded of all diseases was something known as leprosy. Lepers were kept at a space and looked upon with horror and revulsion. Francis cared for them, nourished them, suffused their sores, and kissed them. Since he could not pay for the conservation to the Church of San Damiano, he undertook to repair it by his own labors. He moved in with the priest, and begged stones of no use in fields, shaping them for use in patching up the church. He got his food, not by begging for money so that he might live at the expenditure of others, but by scrounging crusts and discarded vegetable from trash-bins, and by working as a day laborer, insisting on being paid in food rather than in money. Soon a few companions joined him. Dante in his Paradiso has Aquinas say of him:

" Let me tell you of a youth whose aristocratic father disowned him because of his love for a beautiful lady. She had been married before, to Christ, and was so faithful a spouse to Him that, while Mary only stood at the foot of the Cross, she leaped up to be with Him on the Cross. These two of whom I speak are Francis and the Lady Poverty. As they walked along together, the sight of their mutual love drew men's hearts after them. Bernard saw them and ran after them, kicking off his shoes to run faster to so great a peace. Giles and Sylvester saw them, kicked off their shoes and ran to join them...."

After three years, in 1210, the Pope sanctioned the structuring of the Order of Friars Minor, generally called the Franciscans. St. Francis collected many followers. The members of this Order had to take a vow of poverty, chastity, love and obedience. The gospel of kindness and love of Francis soon spread all over Europe and earned for him the name of St. Francis. Francis and his companions took the words of Christ when he sent his disciples out to preach (M 10:7-10):
"Preach as you go, saying, "The kingdom of Heaven is at hand." ... You have received the Gospel without payment; give it to others as freely. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, no spare garment, nor sandals, nor staff."

The priests would have no wealth, and no material goods, independently or communally. Their undertaking was to speak, but declaring by word and action the love of God in Christ.

Back in his own homeland and neighboring countries, many people were genuinely fascinated and captivated by Francis and his desertion, and self-determination. What is unnoticed is that these were made possible only by his readiness and enthusiasm to acknowledge complete poverty, not appealing poverty but real filth, mud, rags, freezing, and food shortage, and lepers with real pus oozing from their wounds and a authentic threat of disease. Numerous unrealistic young people were joining the Order in a rupture of eagerness and then finding themselves uncertain that such edges of poverty were absolutely compulsory and indispensable but the force of his personality kept the original ideals of the Order alive in them.
From the first known letter from Francis to all Christians:

" Let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will recieve from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure."

Two men climbed Mount La Verna in Italy, St. Francis of Assisi in 1224 and thirty years later St. Bonaventure. What Francis lived, the intellect of the Bonaventure pursued to understand to blend with the very One who is above all created essence and knowledge." Both Francis and Bonaventure had the same principle: to get higher from the inspection of God's signs in living things to the foresight of uncreated righteousness itself. Bonaventure approved what Francis said: "God made man simple; man's complex problems are of his own devising" (Ecclesiastes, 7:29-30)."
Rather than entangle himself with infinity of questions, Bonaventure, like Francis, mirrored on those nucleus tribulations of wisdom and authenticity that centered around man's relation to God. On both counts, in order to be certain that he was exploring these central issues within a Christian perspective rather than within a context of purely natural reason, Bonaventure would have to establish the relationship between faith and reason. Faith founded on the authority of God and the Church, and reason, which is based on the natural evidence of things.
Bonaventure developed his themes under the influence of the Franciscan spirit and the ideas of Augustine and Aristotle. The same theme drove Bonaventure threefold desire of Francis of Assisi: "To adhere to God totally by the savor of contemplation, to imitate Christ completely by the practice of the virtues, and to win souls to God as did Christ himself. "What Francis personally experienced, Bonaventure contemplated and formulated so that the corpus of his philosophical ideas was animated and organized by the spirit of Francis. Bonaventure is a Francis gone philosopher to affect a rapport between Assisi and Paris.

As per Bonaventure, knowledge of creation and the creator is deepened by the theological application of metaphysical concepts. To man's way to God, the mystical theologian translates theoretical conclusions into practice by giving love priority over speculation about revelation.The soul rises to God by reading with junction, reflection with devotion, seeking with admiration, deep attention with joy of heart, skill with piety, knowledge with charity, understanding with humility, application with grace, and light with the inspiration of divine wisdom.

Bonaventure found himself developing and defining indefinitely the Franciscan vision. He admired Franciscan and adopted him as "the master whose authority is definitive and whose words can never be contested." Consistent with this preference, he favored Franciscan spiritual vision of God and ideas to empirical concern for things in themselves. By no means did Bonaventure neglect to adopt Franciscan ideas such as act and potency and the agent and possible intellect. Whatever he inherited, however, he adapted to the mind of Francis, the master whose wisdom of transcends realities to understand the Christian faith.

In 1220 Francis resigned as minister-general of the Order, and in 1221 he agreed to a new and modified rule, which he did not approve, but could not resist. He died on 4 October 1226. The Franciscan split into the Conventual Franciscans, who held a limited amount of property in common, and the Spiritual Franciscans, who disavowed all property. They taught that Christ and the twelve apostles had held no property, singly or jointly. This view offended those who held property, and was declared to be heretical (proof text, J 18:10; Jesus said to Peter, "Put up THY sword...."). In 1318, several Spiritual Franciscans were burned at the stake in Marseilles.
After his death in 1226, Pope Gregory IX declared Francis a saint. For centuries after his death, his Franciscan order has experienced continuous growth and is still active today caring for the poor, educating, and continuing many other good deeds.
Return to