Francis was born to wealthy parents and lived the life of a fashionable, wealthy young man until one day he heard a sermon based on the tenth chapter of Matthew. He was inspired to give away his belongings and become an itinerant preacher, living in poverty.
Francis had acquired a number of followers by 1209 when he founded the Order. The early Franciscans were doctrinally strongly orthodox and formed a preaching force that helped counter some of the heresies being voiced at the time. The order with its central values of peace and service still exists today.