Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Franciscan Order was officially authorized On November the 29th 1223 - This Week in Christian History for the week of November the 24th through the 30th 2013

Francis of Assisi, who is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, was born in either 1181 or1182, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. When he was young he dreamed of becoming a knight and winning battles, or perhaps of becoming a poet. During a foray as a squire he had a mysterious dream and left to go back home. This helped to distance him from his father, who had invested a lot in his equipment.

He would eventually leave his rich lifestyle and try and help those in need and restore old churches that were in disrepair. He was inspired by the scriptures that speak of Jesus sending out the disciples without any money to preach the Gospel. He began to get followers, although he was only trying to be a better Christian.

Eventually the new order of monks became officially recognized through publication of Regula Bullata by Pope Honorius III. This formally authorized the Regula Prima, as the rule for the organization and administration of the Franciscan order.

Francis didn’t believe in property as all of our possessions are ultimately God’s. While other order’s practiced individual poverty, the Franciscan order was the first that also didn’t have community property. Francis was also instrumental in starting a sister organization of woman called the Poor Clares.

After Francis’ death disputes arose about what direction the order should take, especially about the lack of community property. Eventually the order split into three main groups, although there are other groups, some even outside the Catholic Church. Some have even tried to follow Francis’ ideals outside of a religious institution, and these people are known as the Third Order of Francis. The Franciscan order grew in popularity and is still an important order today.

The life of Francis of Assisi is detailed in my new book Would You Do What They Did? - Great Christian Leaders From Our Past
It is also currently available at Barnes and nobles and should be available to order now or shortly from anywhere that sells books. The book is about Thomas Becket, Martin Luther, John Wesley and Francis of Assisi and is written in creative nonfiction style, I have excepts of the book here on my website
Thank you for reading.