The largest Franciscan church in the world (known as the Basilica di Santa Croce) contains frescos by Giotto and a chapel in the cloister; designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. It is considered one of the masterpieces of Renaissance architecture.

According to St. Francis and the Franciscans’ reading of the Bible, Christ told his followers to take on a vow of poverty: "And he said to them: Take nothing for your journey; neither staff, nor scrip, nor bead, nor money; neither have two coats”.

In 1322, the Pope declared that the Franciscans’ vow of poverty was illegal and that Christ had in fact; owned property and wanted his followers to own property also. This meant of course that the Franciscans were forced to collect money and land: which would in turn go to the Pope to prove that Biblical interpretation can be surprisingly profitable.

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