Some key events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi include his abandonment of his materialistic, luxurious life when he claimed to hear a voice from God, his work to rebuild the reputation of the Christian church around the world, and the event when he received a vision that supposedly left him with similar marks and wounds to Jesus' on the cross.
Francis was born circa 1181 in Assisi, duchy of Spoleto, Italy, and he grew up in a wealthy family. He routinely spent his time partying and drinking and broke the city curfew. He quit school at age 14 and pined to become a great soldier while learning archery, wrestling and horsemanship.
Following his capture in battle, he claimed to have received visions from God. He was released in 1203 and began praying and spending time helping lepers, preaching and living in poverty. Following his epiphany at the church of San Damiano, he left Assisi and devoted himself to live according to the Gospels. He gained thousands of followers as he gave the crowds a different viewpoint from the rich Christian church establishment.
He received marks that he claimed were stigmata in 1224, although some believed the markings were from leprosy due to his close work with the sick. He died on Oct. 3, 1226 in Assisi and was canonized two years later.