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Saint Francis of Assisi Saint Francis of Assisi was born in Assisi Italy in 1182 Francis was originally named Giovanni Francesco Bernardone and never received a formal education Instead as the son of a wealthy merchant Francis led a worldly and carefree life He found his way into a battle between Assisi and Perugia and was captured and held as a prisoner for over a year While a prisoner Francis developed a severe illness It was during this ilness that Francis decided to alter his way of life When well enough Francis returned to Assisi He performed charities among the less fortunate and restored damaged churches These actions caused Francis father to reject him being a man who put money above all else Francis then gave all of his possessions to his father and devoted his time to caring for outcasts and lepers of Mount Subasio Francis also restored the ruined church of Santa Maria degli Angeli He held mass there for the outcasts that were not allowed in the other churchesone day during mass Francis heard a voice telling him to go into the world and to possess nothing but do good everywhere Doing just that Francis found himself preaching in Assisi later in the year He gathered about him twelve disciples who became the brothers of the First Order of Franciscans with Francis as their superior Francis later accepted a young woma Clare into The Franciscan Order She went on to establish the Order of the Poor Ladies which later became known as the Second Order of Franciscans Francis attempted to travel to the Holy Land in 1212 but did not make it His missionary work in the late 1210s was anything but successful He was able to reach the Holy Land in 1220 He wanted to become a martyr and was proud to hear that five Franciscan friars were murdered while carrying out their duties He returned to Assisi to find dissension
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