The author of Little Flowers was, well, we are not sure who the author is, but many believe the author to be Father Ugolino da Santa Maria. Very little is known about this man. According to Wikipedia, “Most scholars are now agreed that Ugolino was the author of the Fioretti, or Little Flowers of St. Francis, in their original form. Ugolino was probably one of several collectors of traditions in the Marches. The Fioretti appears to have been written sometime between 1322 and 1328″ It is a florilegium separated into fifty-three small chapters. It was based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. It was composed (according to google, composed means “having one’s feelings and expression under control; calm”) by the end of the fourteenth century.
The author of these stories made it extremely clear that if we want to be holy, the right thing to do would would be to live in total poverty (according to google, poverty means “the state of being extremely poor”). He thought that living in poverty practiced great humility. He also believed that not living in poverty mad a person grow attached to this world, therefore, the people not living in poverty would grow attached to this world instead of growing attached to God, therefore, those people are not going to receive the gift of eternal life. St. Francis of Assisi took this very seriously.
He also makes it extremely clear that he who sins will be tortured in Hell according to their sins. St. Francis of Assisi thought that to avoid these punishments you need to inflict harsh punishments on yourself. Whenever he sinned, he inflicted harsh punishments on himself. For example, he wore very little clothing or very uncomfortable clothing, and he spent a long time out in the freezing snow, and he did so much more self-punishments or whatever there called. And he did all of these things ON PURPOSE! He just took the whole self-punishment thing way too far. However, he seemed to forget one single concept about God. Do you know what it is? If you guessed that God is a loving and forgiving God, then you are absolutely correct! St. Francis of Assisi forgot that he did not need to inflict self-punishments on himself because God sent his his Son, Jesus, to pay for your sins. All you have to do, is to believe that Jesus is your Savior and the only way to Heaven and follow him. St. Francis of Assisi just forgot that one characteristic of God. If he knew this, then he wouldn’t have inflicted self-punishments on himself. Many people of his time thought he was a very powerful and influential person and they thought that he was right to do what he did with all of the poverty and self-punishment stuff. Because of this, many people started to do what St. Francis of Assisi did. The people did the poverty and self punishment stuff because St. Francis of Assisi did and the people thought that St. Francis of Assisi was right to do it which means that the people thought that they were right to do it.
Through all of this, St. Francis of Assisi did these things because he believed in Heaven and he really wanted to go there. If I were listening to the story of the Little Flowers in 1300, then I would have thought that what St. Francis of Assisi did and said was true.