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Francis of Assisi

Concern for the poor is a central theme in the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is called “the little poor man of Assisi.” He was born in about 1180 in Assisi, an Italian hill town in Umbria some 15 miles north of Perugia. His father was a wealthy cloth merchant who bought and sold in the fairs throughout the area. At this time the area was the crossroads of the overland trade routes of an economically booming Europe. Francis resisted family pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps. Brought up in great wealth and luxury, Francis spent a considerable portion of his wealth in extravagant pleasures. For a time he thought about becoming a soldier, and, in fact, he was imprisoned during a ...

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