Dating a minor single Gentofte
Exasperated by the demands of running a growing and fractious Order, Francis asked Pope Honorius III for help in 1219.
He was assigned Cardinal Ugolino as protector of the Order by the pope.
Many legends have clustered around the decisive audience of Francis with the pope.
The realistic account in Matthew Paris, according to which the pope originally sent the shabby saint off to keep swine, and only recognized his real worth by his ready obedience, has, in spite of its improbability, a certain historical interest, since it shows the natural antipathy of the older Benedictine monasticism to the plebeian mendicant orders.
The extreme poverty required of members was relaxed in the final revision of the Rule in 1223.
The degree of observance required of members remained a major source of conflict within the order, resulting in numerous secessions.
The austerity was meant to emulate the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, but gave up his wealth to pursue his faith more fully.He had cut all ties that remained with his family, and pursued a life living in solidarity with his fellow brothers in Christ.The brothers lived in the deserted leper colony of Rivo Torto near Assisi; but they spent much of their time traveling through the mountainous districts of Umbria, always cheerful and full of songs, yet making a deep impression on their hearers by their earnest exhortations.Their life was extremely ascetic, though such practices were apparently not prescribed by the first rule which Francis gave them (probably as early as 1209) which seems to have been nothing more than a collection of Scriptural passages emphasizing the duty of poverty.
Francis adopted the simple tunic worn by peasants as the religious habit for his order, and had others who wished to join him do the same.