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ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI (PATRON SAINT OF OUR SCHOOL)

• Born: 1182 in Assisi, Italy

• Died: 1226 in Assisi, Italy

• Best known for: Founding the Franciscan Order

Biography:

Saint Francis of Assisi was a Catholic friar who gave up a life of wealth to live a life of poverty. He established the Franciscan Order of friars and the women's Order of the Poor Ladies.

Early Life

Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182. He grew up leading a privileged life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. Francis loved to learn and sing songs as a boy. His father wanted him to become a businessman and taught him about the French culture.

Going to Battle

About the age of nineteen Francis went to battle against the nearby town of Perugia. Francis was captured and taken prisoner. He was held prisoner in a dungeon for a year before his father paid the ransom and he was set free.

Visions from God

Over the next few years Francis began to see visions from God that changed his life. The first vision was when he was sick with a high fever. At first he thought that God had called him to fight in the Crusades. However, he had another vision that told him to help the sick. Finally, when praying in a church, Francis heard God tell him to "repair my church, which is falling in ruins." Francis gave all his money to the church. His father became very angry with him. Francis then left his father's home and took a vow of poverty.