When he was fifteen, with his parents' permission, he went off to live in a cave, because he wanted to serve God alone. When he was twenty, other young men joined him. Out of charity, St. Francis left his cave and built a church and a monastery for them. He called this new order of religious the "Minims." "Minims" means "the least of all."
Everyone loved St. Francis. He prayed for them all and worked many miracles. He always told his followers that they must be kind and humble, and do much penance. He himself was the best example of humility and charity. Once someone visited the Saint and insulted him to his face. When he was finished, Francis quietly picked up some hot coals from the fireplace and closed his hands tightly around them without being burned at all! "Come, warm yourself," he said to his accuser kindly. "You are shivering because you need a little charity." At such a miracle, the visitor changed his mind about Francis. From then on, he admired him greatly.
The King of France, who had not lived a very good life, called for St. Francis when he was dying. Just the thought of dying made him shake with fear! He wanted Francis to work a miracle to cure him, but the Saint told him he had come to prepare him to die a holy death. The King had a change of heart and accepted God's will. He died in the arms of the Saint, after preparing his soul well.
St. Francis died at the age of ninety-one. He spent the last three months of his life alone preparing to appear before Jesus, since he knew when he was going to die.
God loves and blesses those who are humble. Let us not show off or look for praise.