Pope prepares for 'poverty' visit to St Francis town
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis will outline how the Catholic Church should follow the humble example of St Francis of Assisi during an historic visit on Friday to the hometown of the saint whose name he adopted.
Some 100,000 pilgrims and over 1,000 journalists are expected to follow the Argentine pope as he visits the sites associated with the mediaeval saint in the hilltown in Umbria in central Italy.
The son of a wealthy cloth merchant, Francesco Bernardone grew up an arrogant and war-mongering young man before his spiritual enlightenment.
He famously shed his robes in front of his father in a renunciation of earthly riches and donned a sackcloth to live like and for the poor.