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Profiles In Faith
Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
Mystical Founder of the Franciscans
It is difficult to think clearly about Francis of Assisi. The first thing that comes to mind is the gentle saint who preached to birds, tamed wolves, and padded about in flower-filled fields basking in the love of God. But it’s also difficult to imagine how such a benign figure could turn thirteenth-century Europe upside down.
In fact, Francis was a complex figure, a man who contemporaries claimed lived out the Sermon on the Mount better than anyone else, except of course, the man who first preached it. If that’s even close to the truth, it’s a bit easier to see why he left such an impression on his age and every age since...
Mark Galli, is former editor in chief of Christianity Today and author, most recently, of Karl Barth: An Introductory Biography for Evangelicals. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and holds an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He was a Presbyterian pastor for ten years, changed his denominational affiliation to the Anglican Church in North America. He converted to Catholicism in 2020.