Francis was wandering around the streets of Assisi his home town begging for food and hoping for some shelter from the elements when Bernard da Quintavalle who owned a fine house in Assisi invited him to spend the night in his home. Though Bernard was very impressed by Francis he still wasn’t sure if he was for real or not. That night when both pretended to sleep and when Francis was absolutely sure that Bernard was sleeping sound, Francis rose from his bed and spent the night in prayer, looking towards heaven and with his hands raised to God prayed all night “My God, My All”. Yes, all night, Francis groaned to God in tears these words “My God, My All”.
After watching Francis all night Bernard was deeply moved and was convinced that he was really a man of God. In the morning he called Francis and told him that he was willing to give up everything to follow him, to follow Jesus, the ‘Franciscan Way’. Francis was born in 1182 and died in 1226, only forty four years old. Francis was twenty seven when Bernard joined him (his first follower) and yet when Francis died, just seventeen years later he had approximately 5000 friars.
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