The Story

Born in 1181 in Assisi, Italy, Francis was well educated and worked in his father’s prosperous business. As a young and handsome man, he was drawn to a busy social life of parties, revelry, and brawls. He had little desire to study or work. Instead, he spent money on fine clothes, food, and entertainment. One day, as he was praying in front of a crucifix in a country church of St. Damian, he heard a voice speaking to him. It stated, “Francis, go and repair my house, which, as you see, is falling into ruin.” Francis ceased his ways of frivolous extravagance and cheerfully gave away his clothes and money to the poor. He often fasted, begged for what food he did eat, tended to the sick, and preached the Gospel message of peace. Through it all, he suffered and offered these actions all for the love of Christ.