Transformed into the Likeness of Christ

The Conversion of St. Francis of Assisi

Transformed into the Likeness of Christ

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How did the son of a wealthy merchant become the town beggar? What would prompt a popular young bachelor to start talking dreamily about “Lady Poverty”? What would cause a carefree “King of Feasts” to abandon the party scene and spend his time rebuilding a ramshackle old chapel stone by stone?

The story of Francis of Assisi’s conversion is the story of how deeply God can change a human heart. And it is the story of one man’s response to God’s call—a response that was at times uncertain and searching, at times anguished, yet always wholehearted.

Seeking Adventure and Fame

Born in Assisi in central Italy sometime during 1181 or 1182, Francis was the son of Pietro de Bernardone, and his wife, Pica. As heir to Pietro’s prosperous cloth business, Francis enjoyed wearing fashionable clothes made from his father’s inventory and entertaining his friends with lavish meals. He was captivated by stories of knights in shining armor and longed for the day when he would ride gloriously into battle. High-spirited and generous, Francis was a favorite among his peers. But when he was about twenty years old, his life took a…

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