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Francis of Assisi (orig. Giovanni Francesco [di] Bernardone)

Portrait
Born: 1182 AD
Died: 1226 AD, at 44 years of age.

Nationality: Unknown
Categories: Monks, Mystics, Religious Icon, Religious Leaders, Saint, Spiritual Leader

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1182 – He was born this year to Pietro di Bernardone, a prominent businessperson, and his wife Pica Bourlemont, about who little is known except that she was originally from France.

 

1201 – He joined a military expedition against Perugia. He was taken prisoner at Collestrada, where he spent a year as a captive.

 

1203 - After his return to Assisi in this year, Francis recommenced his carefree life.

 

1204 – A serious illness started a spiritual crisis.

 

1205 – He left for Puglia to enlist in the army of Gualtiero di Brienne. However, on his way, in Spoleto, a strange vision made him return to Assisi, deepening his spiritual crisis.

 

1209 - Francis heard a sermon that changed his life. He led his first 11 followers to Rome to seek permission from Pope Innocent III to found a new religious order.

 

1211 – He received Clare at the Porziuncola and hereby established the Order of Poor Dames, later called Poor Clares. In the same year, he left for Jerusalem, but he was shipwrecked by a storm on the Dalmatian coast, forcing him to return to Italy.

 

1213 – He received the mountain of Verna as a gift from the count Orlando di Chiusi. This mountain would become one of his favorite retreats for prayer.

 

1215 – He went again to Rome for the Fourth Lateran Council. During this time, he probably met Dominic de Guzman.

 

1217 – The growing congregation of friars was divided in provinces and groups were sent to France, Germany, Hungary, and Spain and to the East.

 

1219 – He left, together with a few companions, on a pilgrimage of non-violence to Egypt, crossing the lines between the sultan and the Crusaders in Damietta. The sultan Melek-el-Kamel received him.

 

1220 – He then most probably visited the holy places in Palestine this year.

 

1221 – During this year and 1222, he crossed Italy, first as far south as Catania in Sicily and afterwards as far north as Bologna.

 

1224 – He was reported to have received the Stigmata on September 13 of this year, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. "Suddenly he saw a vision of a seraph, a six-winged angel on a cross. This angel gave him the gift of the five wounds of Christ." This is the first known account of the stigmata. However, no one knew about this occurrence until after his death.

 

1226 – He died on the 3rd day of October this year.


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Page last updated: 11:46am, 03rd Jan '10

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