Francis Of Assisi Analysis

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“Moreover, he did not even keep his drawers, but stripped himself stark naked before all the bystanders.” This quote does not sound like the description of a typical Saint, but Francis of Assisi was certainly not a typical Saint. His devotion to Jesus Christ was unmatched as he dedicated his life to authentically follow the ways of his Savior. Initially, Francis’ undertaking of replicating the life of Jesus over a millennium removed from his time on Earth was not taken well by Italian society and many considered him to be a madman. His love for lepers and for the lowest of the low was appalling to many at the time. Ironically, his devotedness to Christianity was most threatening to the institution of the Church itself. His staunch stance against…show more content…
Francis’ message was clearly a challenge to medieval Italian society to end their obsession with money and return to God. A fundamental principle of his order was, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor.” He goes on to explain what perfection has to do with materialistic objects. “To live in poverty is to thus return to the perfection of the beginning – that of Adam before the Fall – and to rediscover the only true wealth, which is that of shared love.” Essentially, Francis valued human interaction as the most precious aspect of life and valued materialistic objects less than the dust on the ground. He elaborates that an egocentric view of the world is the root of all evil and that property and money are the causes of violence amongst humans. Francis also uses evidence of the demise of Judas as an example of why earthly objects only bring about pain. This view was incompatible not only with Italian society, which grew more obsessed with social mobility and the pursuit of more money, but also the Church itself. As the Franciscan movement spread the Church grew wary and kept a watchful eye as the Church had accumulated a great deal of wealth and had no tolerance for dissenters. Despite these obstacles Francis pushed on with his message of true poverty, feeling shame only when he encountered someone poorer than him and at no…show more content…
As Francis came from the nouveau riche class of society, it would have been easy for him to view himself superior to those underneath him such as peasants. He did not such thing and instead even served the peasants. In the Testament of St. Francis, he pronounced that he and his brothers, “Were subject to all, superior to no one.” Despite this Francis was not concerned with overthrowing the class system and causing a worldly revolution, but simply thought that serving others was serving God. In the Friars Minor, Francis was the leader only since he was the most respected and beloved. The foundational document of the Friars Minor written in 1221 notes that the Friars Minor are, “A society without power and thus without violence, a place where hierarchical relations of an authoritarian type would have no reason to exist.” Everyone lived on an equal footing. Francis’ opposition to power was not just at the organizational level, but even at the intellectual level. Francis was cautious of books since they needed to be purchased. As a result, he believed that the information inside of them would only push them away from the poor and closer to the rich which he was opposed to. Francis’ devotion to serving others was also related to his desire of equality for all. Francis, had the Gregorian belief that laziness was the enemy of the soul. Even more important to Francis

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