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Search the Library Catalog for Medieval Mendicant Orders (Friars)
"The Franciscan Archive is a WWW site dedicated to all things Fransican. It both maintains an index of all URLs currently active, which in any way pertain to St. Francis, the religious orders he founded, Franciscan Saints, Spirituality, History, Art, Architecture, Theology, etc., and it provides a place for the publication of original texts, translations, and articles on Franciscanism."
Thomas of Celano was around Francis's age, and he joined the Franciscan order around 1215, or shortly after its founding. He was one of the brothers chosen to establish the order in Germany in 1221, but he returned to Italy a few years later. Thomas was asked by Pope Gregory IX (the bishop of Ostia mentioned in the biography) to write a biography of Francis, perhaps at the time of Francis's canonization in 1228. The life was completed in 1229. This is, therefore, the earliest view of Francis, one that would be subsequently revised. Thomas composed a second, revised life of Francis around 1246. Thomas also composed a collection of the miracles of St. Francis, a biography of St. Clare of Assisi (d. 1255), and the hymn Dies Irae.This translation is taken from M. L. Cameron, The Inquiring Pilgrim's Guide to Assisi, trans. A. G. Ferrers Howell (London, 1926).