The Life Of St Francis Of Assisi — страница 4

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of Christ was too straightforward, as if Christ was an ordinary person. Even though Francis rejected Guzman s request, they remained close friends and the friendship of their Orders has continued for more than 700 years. In 1217, Francis order had grown to such an amount that he had to establish and outline of organization. He instituted a set of provinces, which were run by ministers, who explained the responsibilities to the followers. During Pentecost in 1217, Francis sent his followers past Italy s borders to both Pagan and Christian territories. His followers set out to France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Syria. 100 years later, he had gained an additional 30,000 followers to his Order. Two years later, Francis left Italy on an unbelievable missionary endeavour. He

travelled to Damietta, Egypt, where he crossed wars being fought by crusaders and Saraceans. Incredibly, he survived a stay inside the Saracen camp and even had a discussion with Melekel-kamel, Sultan and commander of the Mussulman force. Francis advised the Sultan that he be baptized, something, which the Sultan strongly thought about. The Sultan fearing that his people wouldn t accept the ordeal is what kept Francis request from taking place. However, the Sultan did allow Francis and his followers to preach throughout Egypt. Five of Francis followers left Portiuncula and journeyed to Morocco. Here they proclaimed themselves as King of Kings, Jesus Christ. This resulted them being cast into chains amidst the town square. Lying there naked, they courageously confessed and

proclaimed their faith. Townspeople dragged them by their necks and repeatedly kicked them in their backs. The King offered to save them if they converted to Islam. They refused and the Kind beheaded them with his sword on the spot. When Francis heard about this, he exclaimed, God be praised! Now I truly know I have five brothers! The expansion of Francis Order continued, establishing followers many miles away. These followers had never seen Francis before and wished to do so. In 1220, Francis called a General Chapter. At this meeting, he resigned as Minister General, for the purpose of dedicating himself fully to preparing a more comprehensive rule of life for his followers. The next three years of Francis life were extremely stressful. He worked to develop the Franciscan Rule,

a rule that would allow his followers to live the Holy Gospel with the greatest amount of individual liberty and the minimum of regulation. Cardinal Hugolino, the late Gregory IX, assisted Francis in the completion of the Rule of in 1223. All this effort took its tool on the health of Francis, he started realizing that he was nearing the end of his life. Since he believed he had lived like Christ, he pleaded to die like Christ. In 1224, accompanied by a few followers, he marched up the Alvernia Mountain, near Assisi to pray. At this time, Francis and Christ shared words with each other. Extreme exchanges were made between both sides. Francis told Christ about his request, to his wonder, the crucified figure of Christ surfaced to him. When Francis stepped back, he discovered that

his body had wounds located in the same five areas that Jesus suffered on the cross. During the last two years of Francis life, his health was destroyed. He felt tremendous pain in his eyes, spleen, and liver, stomach and have contracted malaria. Francis knew his last days were nearing. He asked his attendants to sing to him, for Francis enjoyed the sound of music. St. Francis died on October 3rd, 1226, while singing his nature song, Canticle of the Sun.