Francis of Assisi is a biographic film based upon the life of St. Francis, the 13th century monk known as the founder of the Franciscan order. St. Francis (Bradford Dillman) begins his life as the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi. When he begins to question the meaning of life, Francis and his friend, Paolo de Vandria (Stuart Whitman), decide to join an army being formed in order to liberate Sicily. Francis finds little meaning in his journey until the voice of God orders him to return to Assisi and rebuild a ruined church. With the help of the nearby peasants, Francis repairs the church and, with the blessing of the Pope, establishes a new religious order that emphasizes the holiness of poverty. Francis then struggles to preserve his order and his faith amid myriad secular temptations, finding comfort only in the company of his childhood friend Clare (Dolores Hart).