St. Francis of Assisi - Philosophy, God and Ethics
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
Monk and philosopher (pictured right) from Assisi in Italy.
Founded the Franciscan order of monks, based on the vows of poverty, chastity (no sex) and
obedience (to God).
Inspired many people including Mother
Teresa (pictured right below).
His famous prayer wasn't written by him - read out by Margaret Thatcher on her election as the British prime
minister in 1979 and starting:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love”.
What did he teach us?
He could have been rich (his father was a wealthy cloth merchant), but he gave it all up to serve God and other
Poverty overcomes the evil of greed.
2. Obedience to God
He gave his life to God and the Christian Church.
3. Be kind to all living creatures
If you’re cruel to animals, you will be cruel with people.
He was famous for his kindness to animals.
4. Love and self-sacrifice
Give yourself to others, and you will be happy.
“It is in giving that we receive”, he said.
Be patient with people and listen to their needs.
5. Low expectations
You will enjoy life, if you expect nothing from it.
He never considered himself superior to anybody including the poorest and most despised in society.
Quietly think (e.g. in prayer) about how you should live your life.
“Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt”, he
8. Practise what you preach
You must do what you say.
Key quote on love
It is in giving that we receive.
Key quotes on fear and
Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.
Key quote on
Start by dong what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Key quote on
When you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.