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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 St. Raymond

St. Francis and St. Raymond

(p.69) 7 St. Francis and St. Raymond
The Poverty of Riches

Kenneth Baxter Wolf (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Francis's particular experiment in poverty must be considered within the context of other contemporary Christian efforts to embrace “holy poverty” as a form of imitatio Christi. Late twelfth‐ and early thirteenth‐century Italy was brimming with such experiments, many of which involved urban laymen of means who, like Francis, renounced their former lives in the world but, unlike Francis, used their resources to assist the poor, typically by establishing hospices. This chapter reviews the so‐called “civic saints” whose lives overlapped that of Francis, with particular attention to Raymond of Piacenza (d. 1200). A former shoemaker, Raymond dedicated his life to a form of voluntary poverty that revolved around helping the poor and sick and advocating for the outcasts of his native town in explicit imitatio Christi.

Keywords:   civic saints, hospices, imitatio Christi, laymen, poverty, Raymond of Piacenza, urban

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