Originally named Giovanni Francesco Bernardone at his birth in Umbria, Italy, St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) led a youth filled with money and festivities. He grew up in high medieval Italy, during the "time of the Crusades, provincial revolts, class divisions, famine, beggars and lepers". He received little academic education, yet since his father was a rich cloth merchant, perhaps Francis one day would take over the business. Francis' father attempted to teach him to be a great businessman, in hopes that he would one day take over the cloth business. However, Francis as a wealthy gentleman centered his life on giving away money and merrymaking. Despite this, St. Francis of Assisi carried himself as a very thoughtful and polite young man.
When Francis was twenty years old, Assisi declared war on its longtime enemy, the neighboring city of Perugia. Most of the troops from Assisi were butchered during combat. Francis volunteered to aid Assisi, however was taken captive and imprisoned for one year in a dark and cold dungeon after the first major battle. Despite this, he
remained very optimistic and cheerful. However, upon his liberation he became... [continues]
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