“Francis was not a tall man. He had a regularly shaped head, a protruding, ovular face, a small, flat forehead, dark, normally shaped eyes, the right sized nose, thin and straight, small, flat ears, straight temples, a penetrating tongue, almost burning, a rounded voice, sweet, clear and ringing, straight, white, uniform teeth, small, thin lips, a dark, full beard, straight shoulders, meager hands, long fingers, protruding finger nails, thin legs, small feet, and delicate skin. He was thin. His clothing was rough, he slept little, with a generous hand”.
(Mario Bertin, Francesco, Castelvecchi Edizioni, 2013)

He was born and then passed away in Assisi, after having passed through hell and high water, returning to his point of origin. A man amongst men, a madman against the wise, a saint amongst the lost. He was like the flower of life, casting light on the lost way, from a tradesman to a pauper, a wealthy man to one with no material possessions, from war to conversion, from trial to pathway, from preaching to following the word, from convents to Egypt, from Chiara to the Nativity, from the Canticle of the Creatures to the stigmata.

The Franciscan convent La Scaruola was founded by Saint Francis in 1218, where a laurel bush and a rose bush were planted, and water sprang fresh from the site. It takes its name from the Scarza, a marsh plant the Saint used to built his initial hut on the property. The fountain has never stopped flowing, providing the sacred place with waters that move through the forest and towards the place built by Holy Father Francis. The “Sancte Marie loci fratrum minorum de Scarciola” church began as a single, simple rectangular room covered in a slightly pointed barrel vault, and has been radically modified over the centuries. The church’s apse hosts a fresco of Francis levitating, hailing from the 13th century.