Print Сite this

Franciscan Approach to Monasticism

Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the most significant and authoritative friars in Christianity. He was the founder of a new Catholic order, which emphasized the uselessness of material possessions in the clergy and attempted to emulate the lifestyle of Jesus Christ. This essay aims at examining the personality of Saint Francis, his purpose and attitude to life and God, and comparing his approach to monastic practices with Basilian and Benedictian monk doctrines.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

St. Francis was not originally fiercely devoted to the idea of monasticism. Even though he began preaching at a relatively young age of 24, he originally was from a wealthy upper-class family. Noble descent and material possessions had a significant role in the life of the future saint. However, the military conflict that St. Francis partook in as well as the subsequent year of imprisonment and sickness, made him reevaluate his attitude to wealth and worldly pleasures. Having recovered from sickness, he lost interest in his family’s fortune and began prioritizing peace, nature, harmony, and an ascetic way of life.

The new approach demonstrated by St. Francis gained popularity among the youth of the city. However, it also provoked a certain degree of opposition from his family and the families of his followers, resulting in him being denounced of noble status and possessions. St. Francis’s purpose was to emulate the way Jesus Christ lived and preached, deprived of worldly pleasures, and concentrated on the servitude to God. The means of achieving said goals was honest work and complete financial reliance on alms.

The opposition quickly escalated, resulting in the destruction of an old church that the saint and his followers were attempting to rebuild. This act was aimed at preventing the spread of a new monastic practice. In order to establish the new approach and clear themselves of possible suspicions of heresy, St. Francis with his followers, traveled to Rome to receive an audience with the Pope. According to the climax of the Brother Sun, Sister Moon film, Francis is astounded by the sheer amount of excessive wealth the Church possesses, so he recites words of Jesus that emphasize poverty. The clergy’s initial reaction is to banish him and his followers; however, Pope Innocent III decides to bless them and give them permission to serve the Lord in humility.

Needless to say, poverty and honest work are the crucial elements of St. Francis’ view on life and God. If we compare this approach to the rules of monasticism practiced by Basilian and Benedictian friars, it is clear that all approaches see humility, obedience, and self-abnegation as essential virtues. However, there is a subtle distinction between poverty and humility, and out of all three approaches, only the Rules of Benedict do not mention it. Furthermore, St. Benedict includes the virtue of silence, which suggests total subordination to the will of superiors. Judging by the fact that St. Francis objected to the wealth of the Church during the audience with the high-ranking members of the clergy, it is not the case in his doctrine.

In conclusion, St. Francis of Assisi is a Christian saint who saw the foundation of monasticism in poverty and honest work. His purpose was to live in a similar way to Jesus Christ. The saint believed that only by depriving oneself of worldly possessions and living off alms and honest work can a man be closer to God. His approach bears a close resemblance to two other doctrines but emphasizes the importance of humility over any other virtue.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 28). Franciscan Approach to Monasticism. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 28). Franciscan Approach to Monasticism.

Work Cited

"Franciscan Approach to Monasticism." StudyCorgi, 28 Feb. 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Franciscan Approach to Monasticism." February 28, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Franciscan Approach to Monasticism." February 28, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Franciscan Approach to Monasticism." February 28, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Franciscan Approach to Monasticism'. 28 February.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.