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ITALIAN SCHOOL. Ooo so A. CARICCIO. c20000 PRIVATE COLLECTION.
John Bernardon, boru at Assise in 1182, so well known by the name of François d'Assise , followed the pursuits of commerce to the age of 25 years. Feeling at that period the utmost contempt for the goods of this world , he left his family, bestowed all he had on the poor, and made a vow of poverty. To this vow he especially bound the order of Cordeliers, instituted by him in 1209 under the name of Minor Brothers, to designate the humility he professed, and to distinguish them from the Dominicans, who, devoting themselves to preaching, seemed their superiors. He next established the nuns of St Claire, or Poor Ladies'; and finally, married men desiring to submit to his regulations, he instituted for them the third order of St Francis or Brothers of penitence.
The continual fasts and mortifications of St Francis reduced him to a state of unceasing illness; he lived full of pain and still more full of patience ; at last, finding the hour of death at hand he caused himself to be conveyed to his native place, when having assembled all the brothers of his order, he exhorted them anew, and died, with his arms crossed on his breast, the 4th of october 1226. He was canonized two years after by pope Gregory IX.
This picture belonged to Colbert, and at that time was engraved by Gerard Audran.