Our Founder

The Order was founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi also called the Poverello of Assisi, Franciscus Seraphicus or The Poverello. His name was Giovanni (John) Bernardone, born in 1182 in Assisi. He came from a rich Italian bourgeois family.

From around 1208, companions began gathering around him, and finally they set up the Franciscan order (1209). The seat of the Order was the Assisian Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels - Portiuncula. In 1212, St. Francis founded the Order of the Poor Clares (the so-called II Franciscan Order), and in 1221 the Order of the Laity (the Third Order of the Franciscan Order, the name of the Franciscan Order of the Secular since 1978).

In September 1224, while on the mountain of La Verna, Francis received stigmata on his hands, feet and on his side. This is the first documented fact of stigmatization. He died on October 3, 1226, at the Porziuncula. On 15 July 1228 Pope Gregory IX has canonized him in Assisi.

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