Chronology of the Life of Saint Francis and His Cult
He lived for 44 years, from the winter of 1181 or 1182 until he was laid to rest on Saturday, October 3, 1226.
1181 (opp. 1182)
While his father was away, Francis was born in Assisi, to Peter Bernardone and the Lady Pica. When the child was baptized, he was given the name of John. Upon returning from his business trip, his father change the name to Francis.
1193 (opp. 1194)
Clare of Assisi was born to Favarone (or Favorino) Offreducci and Ortolana Fiumi. Her sister, Agnes, was born in 1197.
There was an open skirmish between Perugia and Assisi. The opposing groups clashed at Collestrada. Perugia won the battle, and Francis was among those who were taken prisoner, and held captive in Perugia for about a year.
Toward the end of the year, being severely ill, and perhaps also upon the payment of a ransom, Francis was set free.
Once his health was restored, following a long illness, Francis was overcome with a deep inner unrest and anxiety concerning his future.
His twenty-fourth year also marked the beginning of his conversion: he was abandoned by the friends of his merry and happy-go-lucky youth; he engaged in a life of intense prayer; he encountered and embraced a leper; he heard a voice from the crucifix in the church of St. Damian; he journeyed to Rome and had his first experience of poverty.
He renounced his father’s wealth. He rebuilt the three churches of St. Damian, St. Peter of the Thorn, and the Porziuncola. After a brief stay at the Monastery of St. Verecondo of Vallingegno, he went to Gubbio where he cared for the lepers.
Francis was again back in Assisi, where, in the Spring, at the Porziuncola, he listened to the Gospel of the votive Mass of the Apostles, which brought to light his evangelical and apostolic vocation. That same year, the first companions joined him, thus constituting the embryonic core of the First Franciscan Order.
Francis drew up a written Rule, and, with his companions, went to Rome to receive approval from the Pope, who gave only a verbal approval. They stopped for a short stay in Orte, on their way home, then settled in a simple hut in Rivotorto.
Compelled to leave the hut in Rivotorto, the growing group moved to the Porziuncola.
Clare, fourteen years old, fled to the Porziuncola, where Francis consecrated her to God by cutting her hair and clothing her in a simple habit. After a short time, her sister Agnes, followed in her footsteps. This marked the beginning of the Second Franciscan Order. At the end of this year, Francis attempted a missionary journey to Syria, but having been shipwrecked on the Dalmatian coast, he returned to Ancona.
On May 8, Francis was at St. Leo in Montefeltro, where Count Orlando of Chiusi donated Mount Verna to him. That same year, he attempted another missionary journey to Morocco, but was overwhelmed by such a severe illness that he was compelled to return to Italy.
While in Perugia during July, the new Pope Honorius III, granted the request of Francis for a plenary indulgence called “the pardon of Assisi” to all those who visited the Porziuncola on August 2, the anniversary of its consecration.
The first General Chapter was held at the Porziuncola on Pentecost, and 12 Franciscan Provinces were established.
At the Pentecost Chapter at the Porziuncola, it was decided to send Franciscans to Germany, France, Hungary, Spain, and Morocco. The five Franciscans that went to Morocco underwent martyrdom and became the first Franciscan Martyrs. Francis himself went by sea from Ancona, and reached the crusader camp in Damiata.
Honorius III, with the Bull Cum Secundum Consilium, decreed that all aspiring members of the Order must go through a novitiate of one year. The Bull is preserved in the Basilica of St. Francis.
Francis wrote the rule labeled “non bollata” (not confirmed by a Papal Bull) which was presented at the Pentecost Chapter. That same year, the Order of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance was officially established, becoming the Third Franciscan Order. Honorius III gave verbal approval of “Memoriale Propositi”, the first “Rule” written for them.
At Fontecolombo, Francis drew up the final Rule that was approved by the Bull Solet Annuere, issued by Honorius III on November 29. The original copy of the Rule is preserved in the Basilica of St. Francis. That Christmas, with the consent of the Pope, Francis re-enacted the nativity story at Greccio.
On September 17, on Mount Verna, the Saint received the stigmata.
At the church of St. Damian, Francis composed the Canticle of Brother Sun, also known as the Canticle of the Creatures.
On the evening of October 3, at the age of 44, the Saint died at the Porziuncola. The next day, his body was taken to Assisi and temporarily placed in the church of St. George.
taken from (with some editorial changes):