Francis was born at Assisi in Umbria in 1181 or 1182. His father, Piero Bernardone, was a prosperous merchant, and Francis planned to follow him in his trade. After severe illness he had a dream in which God called him to his service, and he returned to Assisi and began to care for the sick. In 1206, he had a vision in which Christ called him to repair His Church.
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