Saint Francis of Assisi’s life was characterized by simplicity and meekness, but also by an intense inner fire.
Even after eight centuries, his example attracts thousands of faithful to Assisi every year. In Father Enzo Fortunato’s book, “Francis the Rebel” one can find rich literary and pictorial testimonies, the places the saint visited, the meetings he had, and the gestures and words with which he formulated his message.
The work also describes the day they tried to humiliate him. Francis had retreated for the day to pray at the small church of San Damiano. In a mystical experience, he felt that Christ spoke to his soul and said, “Francis, go and rebuild my church which is falling down.”
The Day They Tried to Humiliate Saint Francis of Assisi
The intensity of that moment revealed to him the essence of the Crucifix. That inner pain never left him. The saint then decided to sell fabrics and a horse to finance Christ’s project, but his father flew into a rage.
Francesco therefore fled and retreated into a cave.
He was alone, malnourished, and dirty. Believing he was crazy, the children threw stones at him. Humiliated at seeing his son, in whom he had invested so much, treated like this, the father locked him in the house. Faced with his new escape, perhaps aided by his mother, his father decided to bring him to trial.
“Immediately, he took off all his clothes and gave them back to his father […] and stripped himself completely naked in front of everyone saying to him: ‘Until now I have called you my father on earth. From now on, I can say with all certainty: Our Father who art in heaven, because in Him I have placed all my treasures and placed all my trust and hope.'”