1181-82: Francis was born in Assisi to Pietro di Bernardone and his wife Lady“Pica”,in his father’s absence. He was christened Giovanni (John), but when his father came back from his business trip
he named him Francis.
1202: There was an open skirmish between Perugia and Assisi. The opposing armies clashed at Collestrada and Perugia won. Francis was one of the Assisi soldiers taken prisoner, and he was held captive in Perugia for about a year.
1204: Francis went through a long illness. Towards the end of the year he decided to go to Apulia to fight under Gualtiero di Brienne, but when he reached Spoleto he had a mysterious vision which made him change his plans and go back to Assisi.
1205: Francis’ twenty-fourth year marked the beginning of his conversion: he renounced his friends and his happy-go-lucky lifestyle; he engaged in a life of intensive prayer; he met and kissed the leper; he saw the Crucifix of San Damiano and heard its voice; he made a pilgrimage to Rome and had his first experience of poverty.
1206: Francis renounced his father’s wealth. He rebuilt the three small churches of San Damiano, San Pietro della Spina and the Porziuncola.
1208: In spring he listened to the Gospel of the votive mass of the Apostles at the Porziuncola, which brought to light his evangelical and apostolic vocation. That same year, the first companions joined him, thus constituting the embryonic core of theFirst Franciscan Order.
1209: Composes a first short rule and with his companions goes to Rome to have the approval of the Pope, which was granted “orally”. It begins with the words: “This is the rule and life of the lesser brothers to live the the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ in poverty, chastity and obedience.”
1210: Forced to leave the stall at Rivotorto, the growing fraternity moves to the Porziuncola through the kindness of the Benedictines.
1212: Chiara, eighteen years old, flees to the Porziuncola, where Francis consecrates her to God by cutting her hair and vesting her in the garb of a consecrated virgin living with in a Benedictine Monastery of Nuns, and after a short time her sister Agnes joins her and thus begins Second Franciscan Order, the Poor Clares. Their first monastery is at the Church of San Damiano. At the end of this year, Francis attempts a missionary journey to Syria but the winds bring him back to Dalmatia and Ancona.
1217: At Pentecost during the first general chapter at the Portiuncula are created 12 Franciscan provinces or districts.
1219: At Pentecost chapter at the Portiuncula, it was decided to send the Franciscans in Germany, France, Hungary, Spain and Morocco. The five that reach Morocco are martyred. Francis himself embarks for Ancona and reaches the Crusaders’ camp at Damietta.
1221: Francesco scrive la Regola detta ‘non bollata’, che viene presentata nel Capitolo di Pentecoste.
1223: Francis, at Fontecolombo draws up the final rule, “regula bullata” which Pope Honorius III approves on November 29 with the Bull, “Solet annuere”. The original rule is kept at the Basilica of St. Francis. At Christmas, with the consent of the Pope, Francis celebrates the Nativity Scene at Greccio.
1224: On September 17, at La Verna, Francis receives the impression of the stigmata.
1225: At San Damiano, Francis composes the Canticle of Brother Sun, also known as Canticle of the Creatures .
1226: On the evening of October 3 at 44, Francis of Assisi dies at the Porziuncola. The next day is brought to Assisi and placed temporarily in San Giorgio, his parish church.
1228: Card. Ugolino, now Pope Gregory IX, on July 16 in Assisi canonizes Francis and the following day, July 17 lays the first stone of the new Basilica in his honor.
1230: May 25: Solemn procession transferring of the body of St. Francis from his parish church of San Giorgio to the new basilica, which Gregory IX, with the Bull “Is qui ecclesiam suam”, had the previous April 22 declared directly under the Roman Pontiff, and “Caput et Mater” (“Head and Mother”) Church of the Order of the Friars Minor.