St. Francis

In everything we do we strive to follow the way of St. Francis and those first men who followed him as “little brothers.” We look to him and the first Franciscans, we see a man who took literally the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and those who were trying to follow him as best as they could.

But as important as following the Rule of St. Francis, trying to live simply, and serving others in our lives, there is much more to Conventual Franciscan spirituality.

A good Friar is someone who is in love with life and with every person God brings into his life. Because he is poor and keeps nothing to himself, he is able to share everything around him with those he meets. He shares his talents and training, obviously. But also everything else that God gives him, he tries to give away.

If you’ve spent much time with us, you know that when we get together there we usually have a lot of laughter, a lot of fun, and almost always something good to eat.

And we take joy in knowing that those first Franciscans, and the thousands who have followed them, were just like us, with strengths and weaknesses, good qualities and bad. We always have the faith and hope that if we follow the example of love given by the “little poor man of Assisi,” Christ will continue to draw us closer to Himself. We invite you to learn more about St. Francis and his life below:

His Life

Born circa 1181, in Assisi, duchy of Spoleto, Italy, Saint Francis of Assisi, though revered today, began his life as a confirmed sinner. His father was a wealthy cloth merchant who owned farmland around Assisi, and his mother was a beautiful Frenchwoman. Francis was not in want during his youth; he was spoiled, indulging himself with fine food, wine, and wild celebrations. By age 14, he had left school and become known as a rebellious teenager who frequently drank, partied and broke the city curfew. He was also known for his charm and vanity.

In these privileged surroundings, Francis of Assisi learned the skills of archery, wrestling and horsemanship. He was expected to follow his father into the family textile business but was bored by the prospect of life in the cloth trade. Instead of planning a future as a merchant, he began daydreaming of a future as a knight; knights were Medieval action heroes, and if Francis had any ambition, it was to be a war hero like them. It wouldn’t be long before the opportunity for warfare beckoned. In 1202 war broke between Assisi and Perugia, and Francis eagerly took his place with the cavalry. Little did he know at the time, his experience with war would change him forever.

Francis Goes to War – by Pedro Subercaseaux

Recommended Further Reading On St. Francis

St. Francis of Assisi
By G.K. Chesterson

By universal acclaim, this biography by G. K. Chesterton is considered the best appreciation of Francis’s life–the one that gets to the heart of the matter.

Francis –  The Journey and the Dream
By Murray Bodo, OFM

“Francis: The Journey and the Dream depicted a Francis who ‘sang’ to me. I felt that I had found a teacher to lead me home. I had no idea where this was going to lead, but I was ready to follow.”—John Michael Talbot

St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography
By Omer Engelbert

This classic work puts the him in the context of his historical setting and his spiritual influences. Inspired by a deep and simple love, Francis abandoned his fortune and chose to live simply. His love for Jesus Christ, his love for animals, and his love for nature continue to inspire many to this day.

Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of St. Francis
By Richard Rohr. OFM

Franciscan Father Richard Rohr helps us look beyond the birdbath image of the saint to remind us of the long tradition founded on Francis’ revolutionary, radical, and life-changing embrace of the teachings of Jesus.