A much different expression of the love of this world, and yet one which had certain similarities to the Goliard's, came from St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). He is probably the one person most people would name as having been most like Jesus. Born in the Italian town of Assisi, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, he early enjoyed the good things of this life which easily came his way. A desire for military glory was frustrated by illness and imprisonment in an enemy city. During his convalescence something within him began to change. His father, perfectly willing to pay for the young man's revels, objected strenuously when Francis suddenly took the money for some of his merchandise and spent it on the repair of broken-down churches and for outcast lepers. Francis' s decision to redirect his life was confirmed for him when he found that he was able to kiss the lepers he was trying to help. But it brought a straining of relations between father and son which ultimately led to a dramatic break (1206), father and son mutually disowning each other, and Francis choosing God as his Father and, in the very best troubadour fashion, Lady Poverty as his true love. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "2. St. Francis of Assisi. Pt. IV: The Medieval Ferment." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 6-9.