What did Francis of Assisi look like, pray tell

Here’s my point: you may have a dozen excuses in your back pocket, ready to pull them out at any invitation or before accepting any compliment. You may like to say that you are not x enough or not y enough or you don’t have enough z in you to do something. I want to assure you that Francis said “yes” to God over and over again, despite having a patchy beard, small feet and non-milky eyes.  You can say “yes” too, no matter how big your head or feet are.

Here is a detailed description of St. Francis’ physical appearance, provided to us by Thomas of Celano, his first biographer. I’ve yet to find a painting which depicts this precisely and would love to see an artist take a crack at it.Image

Overall appearance: cheerful

Face: kind, not lazy, not arrogant

Height: Medium-Short

Head: Medium sized and round

Forehead: neither large nor rough

Eyes: not to big, not too small. not milky. black.

Eyebrows: straight

Hair: dark

Nose: neither uneven  nor wide

Ears: neither large nor sagging.

Temples: Smooth

Beard: Patchy

Teeth: White and even

Lips: neither fat nor large

Neck: slender

Fingers: long

Nails: tapered (was not a nail biter)

Legs: thin

Feets: small

Skin: fine

Fat? no

3 thoughts on “What did Francis of Assisi look like, pray tell

    • Thanks for your comment, Joanna!
      Yes, it is a skull alright. I am no art expert, so I am relying on what I was told years ago…this is a common motif in (15th? 16th? century) depictions of saints. It alludes to an awareness of mortality. This was painted a few hundred years after St. Francis’ death. Thanks for asking.

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