While he was engaged upon some pieces for the convent of the Dominican friars, he made the acquaintance of Savonarola, who quickly acquired great influence over him, and Bartolommeo was so affected by his cruel death, that he soon after entered the convent, and for some years gave up his art.
Among the mendicant friars of the 13th century, among the Jansenists, the early Quakers, the converts of Wesley and Whitefield, the persecuted protestants of the Cevennes, the Irvingites.
His heart, however, especially from the date of his receiving the tonsure (1578), was already turned towards the Church, and he gave his attention even more to theology, under the great masters Antonio Possevino, S.J., and Gesualdo, afterwards general of the Friars Minor, than to his legal course.
The country was flooded with Jesuits and friars, whose arguments were reinforced by quartering troops, veterans of the Indian wars in Mexico, on the refractory inhabitants.
Another striking feature of Francis's character was his constant joyousness; it was a precept in his rule, and one that he enforced strictly, that his friars should be always rejoicing in the Lord.
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