The Real St. Francis: 14 Surprising Facts

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He Was Originally Named John

The Real St. Francis John Francesco


At his birth in 1182, his mother had her new baby son baptized John (Giovanni), after St. John the Baptist. However, his father, Pietro di Bernardone, a rich cloth merchant who was away on business at the time, renamed him Francis (Francesco) because France was where he made his fortune.

Related Topics: Saints

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