In his lifetime, he was known simply as “Il Poverello,” the poor one. Yet few poor men in the history of the world have touched as many souls and affected as many lives as Francis of Assisi. The ideals he embraced—his passion for peace, his quest for simplicity and his respect for all of creation—are as relevant today as they were to the medieval society into which he was born more than 800 years ago. Read on
The existence of the Friars Minor or first order properly dates from 1209, in which year St. Francisobtained from Innocent III an unwritten approbation of the simple rule
he had composed for the guidance of his first companions. This rule has not come down to us in its original form; it was subsequently rewritten by the saint and solemnly confirmed by Honorius III, 29 November 1223.