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Francis Of Assisi

Francis Of Assisi

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Early in the 13th century, young Francis Bernardone, the pleasure-seeking son of an Assisi cloth merchant, becomes increasingly aware of the emptiness of his life. Hoping to find some meaning for his existence, he answers the call of Pope Innocent III and joins the army being formed to liberate Sicily for King Frederick. Accompanying him is Paolo de Vandria, an impoverished nobleman and a close friend. In battle Francis hears a voice commanding him to return home. When he does so, he is branded a coward and traitor and is thrown into prison. Following his release, the Lord's voice again speaks to Francis and orders him to rebuild a church that stands in ruins outside Assisi. Enlisting the aid of farmers and workmen, he reconstructs the church and then forms a religious order, which receives the approval and blessing of the pope. Paolo, meanwhile, has fallen in love with Francis' childhood friend, Clare, the beautiful daughter of the aristocratic Scefi family. But the young girl is so moved by Francis' preachings that she renounces the worldly life and becomes a nun. Blaming Francis for her decision, Paolo, filled with bitterness and hate, rides off to the Crusades. As the Franciscan Order grows, Francis answers a plea from the pope and journeys to the Holy Land, where the crusaders are battling the sultan's forces. By offering to walk through fire to prove the strength of his faith, Francis wins the sultan's respect. He is disgusted, however, by the plunder of the crusaders, led by Paolo. Returning home, Francis is further disheartened to discover that some of the Franciscan brothers have forsaken the vow of poverty. After upbraiding his fellow monks, Francis retreats to a cave. There he resigns himself to progressive blindness and is comforted by Clare. While praying on a hillside he receives the stigmata. On his deathbed Francis is visited by the repentant Paolo and mourned by a crowd of admirers.

Considered to be the best movie on St Francis.

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Bookshelf: 21D

ISBN/Code: DVD/foa

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