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The Poverty of RichesSt. Francis of Assisi Reconsidered$
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Kenneth Baxter Wolf

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195158083

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195158083.001.0001

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St. Francis and Jesus

St. Francis and Jesus

Chapter:
(p.39) 5 St. Francis and Jesus
Source:
The Poverty of Riches
Author(s):

Kenneth Baxter Wolf (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195158083.003.0006

Francis's decision to live a life of poverty was inspired by his sense of the perfect poverty of Jesus. On the basis of his understanding of the New Testament themes, Francis seems to have focused his attention on Paul's idea that the Incarnation itself was the quintessential form of voluntary poverty, because Jesus gave up the “riches” of heaven to assume the life of a mere man, and a poor man at that. Francis's own imitatio Christi was designed, therefore, first and foremost, as an imitation of the Incarnation. This connection seems to have contributed to Francis's decision to prioritize imitating Jesus's “poverty” over alleviating the poverty of the ordinary poor.

Keywords:   imitatio Christi, Incarnation, Jesus, New Testament, Paul, voluntary poverty

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