Saint Francis was born in 1181 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. After a somewhat misspent youth and some military service, Francis had a conversion of the heart. He gave away all his belongings, future inheritance and founded what came to be called the Order of Friars Minor (also known as the Franciscans). During Christmastide of the year 1223 Francis conceived of the idea of creating a living Nativity and is said to be the originator of the Christmas Crèche. Two years before his death, St. Francis received the image of Christ crucified in the stigmata.