Francis, the son of a wealthy merchant, spent his
youth in frivolous pursuits before a military tour.
He was captured and spent a year imprisoned.
Through divine intervention, he experienced
a profound conversion and gave away all his
possessions and inheritance living the remainder
of his life in radical poverty. Francis spent time in
solitude, prayer and manual labor. He begged for
food and the needs of his followers (Friars Minor
and Order of Poor Clares). Francis bore the stigmata,
suffered debilitating illness, blindness and great
pain. Francis was the first person to place a manger
and baby in Church for Christmas thus beginning
the tradition of the nativity set. Francis is known for
his humility and awe for God in all creation.