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Francis of Assisi

1181/2 Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone is born and baptized in Assisi, Italy; later named Francesco

1190 Francis attends the parish school at San Giorgio

1193 Chiara di Favarone (Clare) is born to a renowned family of nobility

1199-1200 Civil war rages in Assisi, a city intent on independence from both papal and imperial power; nobility flee to the city of Perugia, Assisi’s arch-rival

1202 Francis fights in a battle between Assisi and Perugia, is captured and imprisoned in Perugia

1203 Francis’s father ransoms him; Francis endures a long illness

1204 Late: Sets out to participate in a crusade; en route, a vision directs him to return home to seek God’s will

1205 Spring: Francis’s gradual conversion begins: he gives generously to the poor and embraces a leper; he is mocked by fellow Assisians; he seeks solitude with God in caves and abandoned churches
Fall: In the church of San Damiano, Francis hears, “Go, repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin”; he sells cloth from his father’s shop and gives money to repair the church building

1206 Jan./Feb. His enraged father takes Francis before the bishop of Assisi, demanding repayment for his cloth; Francis strips, returning his clothes and renouncing his inheritance
Spring: Nurses lepers and begs for stones to repair churches

1208 Desires to imitate Jesus perfectly; begins to preach repentance and peace; several young men leave their families and possessions to join Francis

1209 Writes a rule [guiding charter] for his new order; goes to Rome to gain papal approval for the order; settles with his “brothers” in a small church in Assisi called “The Portiuncula”

1211 Tries to reach Muslim territory to convert Muslims; heavy winds detour his ship and force ...

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