The determining episode of his life followed soon after his return to Assisi; as he was riding he met a leper who begged an alms; Francis had always had a special horror of lepers, and turning his face he rode on; but immediately an heroic act of self-conquest was wrought in him; returning he alighted, gave the leper all the money he had about him, and kissed his hand.
There is little leprosy in the peninsula, but there is a leper hospital near Penang on Pula Deraja and another on an island on the west coast for the reception of lepers from the Federated Malay States.
1584), discoverer of the northern passage to Archangel in Russia (1553) St Bartholomew's chapel, originally attached to the hospital for lepers (one of the first in England), founded by Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, in 1070, is in part Norman.
From that day he gave himself up to the service of the lepers and the hospitals.
The next three years he spent in the neighbourhood of Assisi in abject poverty and want, ministering to the lepers and the outcasts of society.