Priory of St. Francis

The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem ®

Overview

The Priory of Saint Francis is based in the San Francisco Bay area of California.The Priory is committed to acts of Christian Charity in the community, the Holy Land, and the World. Monies given to Charity come from our member's contributions.

Painting of Francis of Assisi by El GrecoOur Namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Franciscan Order, was born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 - the exact year is uncertain. St. Francis died there on 3 October, 1226.

St. Francis holds special meaning for us because he was a contemporary of the crusading Templars and because his life was a metaphor of the novea miltai. Although the son of a wealthy merchant, the saint's family encouraged him to seek his fortune as a soldier. Handsome, gallant and courteous, he soon became a favorite among the nobles of Assisi. He fought in many battles as a knight of Count Walter of Brienne. Yet, even during this stage of his life, St. Francis had an uncommon sympathy for the poor and the meek.

While still in his twenties, this gallant knight was inspired by a holy vision to abandon his worldly life for one of religious contemplation. The saint relinquished his inheritance and entered the cloth. In 1208, he founded the Franciscan Order.

In the spring of 1219, St. Francis journeyed to the Holy Land and was present at the taking of Damietta. After giving a sermon to the crusading army, including the Templar contingent, the saint fearlessly crossed over to the Saracen camp to implore the Sultan for gentleness. He then returned to the west. After many good works and important writings, the saint died peacefully in his hometown at the age of 44.

His life inspires us now, as it did so many then.

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