Francis was born of a wealthy family. At the age of 20, he left his family and forfeited his wealth for a life of poverty serving God. He was known as 'The Little Poor Man.' Francis was also known as receiving the gift of stigmata from God; he physically retained the wounds of Jesus Christ in his hands and feet. Francis of Assisi was also very fond of nature, a fondness and understanding that was apparent to nature itself, as wild animals were tamed in his presence; he is often pictured and remembered surrounded by nature.
In the Middle Ages, people who were believed to be possessed by Beelzebub called upon St. Francis for assistance. It was believed that St. Francis was his opposite number in heaven.