Francis Bernardone was the son of a merchant man in Assissi. After a pretty much carefree life, he went to war, ended up in prison in a neighboring city, somehow got wind of the gospel in a way he had not ever understood it before, and when he came back home–pretty sick and probably with some PTSD–he had changed profoundly. He pissed off his father by giving away his possessions and his father took him to “court” for being a thief. You know, you can’t really claim your inheritance unless your parents are dead, right? Francis responded by getting naked and renouncing his father’s name. From then on, he would only call God his father. There begins Francis’s life of poverty, identifying himself with the lowliest of his society and caring for nothing except the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is true he might have misunderstood the voice of God in here and there, especially at the beginning when he heard the words: “Francis, rebuild my Church.” Francis took it literally to mean to rebuild the ruins of San Damiano, where he was currently taking refuge. Eventually, he would get it….and rebuilding the Church by following the gospel as best we can, is what Francis inspires us to do.