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Saint Francis of Assisi’s Story

But Francis simply brushed off the snow. And when they had gone away, he jumped out of the ditch, and with great joy began to call out the praises of God in a loud voice. Francis then walked along until he came to the steps of a monastery, where he hoped the monks might clothe him in exchange for work.


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They did so, but Francis only stayed with them for a short while. He would need to cultivate this spirit more and more because he would still face harsher challenges in the days ahead.

Because of this, God greatly exalted him. Bernard of Quintavalle was the first brother to follow Francis and his simple way of life. A wealthy Assisian, Bernard sold all his possessions and gave the money to the poor.

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One evening, Bernard invited Francis to join him for supper at his home. After a pleasant meal, Bernard invited him to stay overnight. Bernard had a bed prepared for Francis in his own room. Shortly after Francis entered the room, he threw himself down and pretended to fall asleep.

The Story of Young Francis and the Beggar

A short time later, Bernard went to bed and also pretended to sleep—with snores and all. His plan was to watch Francis carefully during the night. With Bernard secretly observing him, Francis got onto his knees and raised his hands in prayer. The daughter of a noble Assisian family, Clare was known for her love of God and of the poor.

She was attracted to the Gospel way of life preached by Saint Francis. Secretly in the dark of night, to the dismay of her wealthy family, Clare met with Francis and his small band of brothers to commit her life totally to God. There in the Portiuncula chapel, she exchanged her golden hair for a simple habit. She would soon begin a quickly growing community of contemplative women devoted to living the Gospel. Clare remained a close friend and associate of Saint Francis, even though she was committed to staying in her monastery alongside the other Poor Clare nuns, named after their foundress.

Saint Clare died in , outliving her great friend Francis by almost 27 years. Until her death, Clare kept her ideals: a passion for prayer, a life of poverty and humility, and a generous concern for the needy.


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  4. The close bond between the Poor Clares and the Franciscan friars remains strong and joyful in our day. The Clares serve as vibrant models of intense union with God, which all Franciscans—and indeed all human beings— are meant to foster, as the Holy Spirit prompts.

    St. Francis of Assisi

    Today the Chapel of the Stigmata sits on the same sheer precipice where Saint Francis stood two years before his death. Saint Bonaventure, an early Franciscan leader and theologian, in his Life of Saint Francis, describes Francis as being more inflamed than usual with the love of God as he began a special time of solitary prayer on Mount La Verna in September And when in swift flight the Seraph had reached a spot in the air near the man of God, there appeared between the wings the figure of a man crucified, with his hands and feet extended in the form of a cross and fastened to a cross.

    Two of the wings were lifted above his head, two were extended for flight and two covered his whole body. He rejoiced because of the gracious way Christ looked upon him under the appearance of a seraph, but the fact. What did Saint Francis experience? They reverently placed his body on the ground and let it lie there for some 30 minutes. When St.

    Saint Francis and the Beggar

    Clare of Assisi was dying, Juniper consoled her. Juniper is buried at Ara Coeli Church at Rome. His feast day is celebrated on 29 January. Several stories about Juniper in the Little Flowers of St. Francis Fioretti di San Francesco illustrate his generosity and simplicity. Perhaps the most famous of these is the tale of the pig's feet. When visiting a poor man who was sick, Juniper asked if he could perform any service for the man.

    The man told Juniper that he had a longing for a meal of pig's feet, and so Juniper happily ran off to find some. Capturing a pig in a nearby field, he cut off a foot and cooked the meal for man. When the pig's owner found out about this, he came in great wrath and abused St. Francis and the other Franciscans, calling them thieves and refusing repayment. Francis reproached Juniper and ordered him to apologize to the pig's owner and to make amends. Juniper, not understanding why the owner should be upset at such a charitable act, went to him and cheerfully retold the tale of the pig's foot, as though he had done the man a favor.

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    When the man reacted with anger, Juniper thought that he had misunderstood him, so he simply repeated the story with great zeal, embraced him, and begged the man to give him the rest of the pig for the sake of charity. At this display the owner's heart was changed, and he gave up the rest of the pig to be slaughtered as Juniper had asked. Francis On another occasion, Juniper was commanded to cease giving part of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road.