By Augustine Thompson
One of the so much loved saints within the Catholic culture, Francis of Assisi (c. 1181 1226) is popularly remembered for his commitment to poverty, his love of animals and nature, and his wish to keep on with completely the lessons and instance of Christ. in the course of his lifetime and after his demise, fans accrued, for his or her personal reasons, a number of tales, anecdotes, and reviews approximately Francis. for this reason, the guy himself and his personal matters grew to become misplaced in legend.
In this authoritative and fascinating new biography, Augustine Thompson, O.P., sifts in the course of the surviving facts for the lifetime of Francis utilizing smooth ancient tools. the result's a fancy but sympathetic portrait of the guy and the saint. Francis emerges from this account as a great deal a standard thirteenth-century Italian layman, yet person who, whilst confronted with unforeseen crises in his own lifestyles, made judgements so radical that they problem his personal society and ours. not like the saint of legend, this Francis by no means had a different divine concept to supply him with ideas for following the lessons of Jesus. really, he spent his lifestyles reacting to unforeseen demanding situations, prior to which he usually stumbled on himself unprepared and unsure. The Francis who emerges here's either extra advanced and extra conflicted than that of older biographies. His famed devotion to poverty is located to be extra nuanced than anticipated, possibly no longer even his relevant non secular main issue. Thompson revisits occasions small and big in Francis's lifestyles, together with his kin along with his father, his contacts with Clare of Assisi, his come across with the Muslim sultan, and his receiving the Stigmata, to discover the guy in the back of the legends and well known images.
A travel de strength of historic study and biographical writing, Francis of Assisi: a brand new Biography is split into complementary elements a stand on my own biographical narrative and a detailed, annotated exam of the old assets approximately Francis. Taken jointly, the narrative and the survey of the resources supply a much-needed clean standpoint in this iconic determine. "As i've got labored in this biography," Thompson writes, "my appreciate for Francis and his imaginative and prescient has elevated, and that i desire that this ebook will communicate to trendy humans, believers and unbelievers alike, and that the Francis i've got come to grasp could have anything to assert to them today.""
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Additional info for Francis of Assisi: A New Biography
After the encounter with the lepers in [ 21 ] Th e Li f e the summer of 1206, Francis continued his freelance solitary penitent’s life for almost two years. Divested of his fine clothing, Francis cut an unimposing and unlikely figure. He was short, slight, indeed gaunt. His most notable features were probably his dark hair and eyes, which contrasted with his fair skin, his small, angular features, and his white teeth. Although not a “portrait” in the modern sense, the fresco of “Brother Francis” in the Sacro Speco of Subiaco Benedictine monastery, painted within two years of Francis’s death, if not while he was still alive, resembles the earliest descriptions.
The bishop might have wondered if men from that background might not eventually just give up the way of life that they were proposing for approval. The bishop’s offer of support was a remarkable decision and says much for Francis’s power of persuasion. The three men were, after all, an insignificant and marginal part of the Assisi religious scene. Now their bishop offered them access to the pope himself. The bishop used his connections to get Francis and his followers an audience with an insider at the Curia, John of San Paolo Colonna, the cardinal bishop of Sabina.
He lived with them for a while, still wearing lay clothing, trying to make up his mind whether to stay or leave. One day, a poor man happened to come by asking for help. ” Without hesitating, the young man took it off his back and gave it to him. It was a transforming moment for Giles, who immediately adopted the little group’s way of life. He would be present at Francis’s death. Giles was the first “lay brother” of the new fraternity, joining the initial three, who had been tonsured as clerics.