During the Dark Ages of the 12th century, Francis of Assisi, though wealthy, chose the Gospel way of accompanying the poor and following in the footsteps of Jesus. This counter-cultural choice and Francis's passion for the Gospel became a fire which lighted up, not his own small corner of Assisi, but eventually the entire world. The discovery of a new and liberating way of life led him to total conversion and illuminating joy.

Today, hundreds of religious communities use a Rule of Life written by St. Francis for those who wish to live an evangelical Gospel life. They strive to carry out the legacy he left them: living simply dependent on God's providence, loving all creation and knowing their littleness within it, respecting all life, living with and caring for the poor, proclaiming peace and bringing it to their own "dark" times.

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