Religion: Assisi Today

Twelve sackclothed vagrants with no visible means of support gathered in A.D. 1210 in the little Italian hill town of Assisi and started what Danish Roman Catholic Historian Johannes Jorgensen called "the most powerful attempt since Christ to make the world truly Christian." Their leader was a gentle little man who began life as a gay young gallant with a yen for glory—until, riding off to war at 22, he heard a voice ask, "Why do you desert the Lord?" Not long after, Francis of Assisi turned to prayer and fasting. Haled into an...

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