He was fighting disease and suffering, but to gain access to the tormented, it was necessary to take the path of their own suffering to reach their battlefield.
These ideals are exactly today as they were in Saint Francis' life. Poverty reflects a deep conviction that the few worldly goods we need will be supplied by faith alone. It stands as an example to those that may wish to be more wealthy than holy, and assures that his followers' moral judgments will not be blurred or skewed, based on the distortion of the world through a materialistic lens. The yoke of poverty keeps the soul rooted in its beliefs, with not room nor opportunity to sidestep the important issues.
One of the Franciscan's important issues is non-violence and the spreading of serenity through the abolition of disruption. A man who has nothing and depends on the grace of God for each breath and every moment of time has not the capacity for violence. The yoke of poverty is not a shackle of distress, but is a celebration of freedom that alleviates the worry and the hardship of wealth and injustice.