Basilica di San Francesco di Assisi

The life of St. Francis

Francesco was born in Assisi between 1181 and 1182, son of the rich merchant Pietro di Bernardone. Cultured, elegant, expert in Latin, able to write music, fond of French novels , and for all these qualities even more intelligent and skilled than his father.

Before his conversion he had been a very ambitious man living as a noble but always nourished by generous ideals.

After the attempted military fortune, the conversion project that lasted for years begins: to bring the word of Christ to the whole world.
Only in 1209 Pope Innocent III approves the Rule of the Order and authorizes St. Francis to preach among the peoples, so Francis begins to travel around the world reaching Dalmiata of Egypt (1219-20 were the times of the Crusades) from Sultan Melek El Kamel, preaching peace and the wholesome ideals of the gospel.

Francesco tried to hinder the fighting of the crusaders also with a strong example, the celebration of Christmas in Greccio in 1223, when Francesco invented the crib . Francis devised the solution of re-proposing the nativity of Bethlehem in Greccio to make the Child be reborn again in the hearts of Christians without physically moving.

In 1224 St. Francis received the stigmata, a miracle that had never happened before except to the son of God.

Feeling close to death, St. Francis is brought back from Siena to Assisi and more precisely to the Porziuncola the small chapel where he will die on a bed on the bare ground on 4 October 1226.

It was Friar Elia , his successor at the head of the Order who announced to the world the presence on the body of the Saint of the stigmata and the revelation of them caused serious lacerations and skepticisms in the church that will last even in the following centuries.

Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi