Saint Francis

( 9 )

Overview

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

Francis of Assisi has inspired the church for centuries. Francis took the gospel literally, following all that Jesus said and did ...

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Saint Francis

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Overview

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

Francis of Assisi has inspired the church for centuries. Francis took the gospel literally, following all that Jesus said and did without limit, and his devotion led to a life filled with miracles and wonders.

Born to a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, Italy, Francis didn’t seem destined for the life of prayer and poverty that he chose. Bankrolled by his father, and with natural good looks and personality, Francis indulged in worldly pleasure. He had a ready wit, sang merrily, and delighted in fine clothes and showy display. Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking ways and led him to a life of prayer and unbridled devotion to Scripture. He gave over all his possessions to the poor and embraced a life of simplicity and poverty, transforming him from a self-centered youth to a man living for God and a model of complete obedience.

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  • The Christian Encounters Series
    The Christian Encounters Series  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595551078
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Series: Christian Encounters Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 995,294
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob West doesn't just write about tree ships. He sometimes retreats to write in the flying ship he built in his own back yard--it's the only place he can escape his wife, three sons (and their cronies), two dogs, three cats, two doves . . . and, when she chooses to drop in out of the sky, a duck!
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Read an Excerpt

SAINT FRANCIS


By ROBERT WEST

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Robert West
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-0450-9


Chapter One

OUT OF THE NIGHT

The city bustled into the morning much as it did every day. Carts rattled and wagons rumbled along the unpaved streets, stirring up chickens and spooking dogs and horses that happened to be in the way. From the crowing of cocks to the bleating of sheep and the laughing of children as they ran about riding broomstick warhorses, a cacophony of sounds intruded upon every conversation.

Amid this turmoil of sight and sound, the wisp of another sound—of someone shouting (or was it singing?) emanated from the mist below the city gate to the east. A few people on the outer reaches of the piazza turned to look, but the sound was mostly lost as farmers and craftsmen began hawking their wares and criers called out the virtues of this and that product. The voices of people, instead of traffic noises, still prevailed in the streets eight centuries ago—itinerant salesmen shouting "Get your pots and jars here!" as they rambled along in carts or walked the streets wrapped in their wares. Peddlers jangled their bells, calling out "for sale or trade" to draw attention to their baskets filled with jewelry.

That other voice was becoming louder and more obtrusive. More people swung about and peered into the harsh glare of the rising sun. Yes, there was someone there—a small shadow of a man, with the outline of a church at his back, half walking and half dancing.

Church bells all over the city had already called the population to early mass—"prime" it was called in the circuit of hours for the church, set at about six o'clock, except, of course, there were no clocks in those days. Everyone went to mass. Heaven and hell were too vividly envisioned in the medieval mind to ignore the entreaties of faith.

The voice, which sounded so dissonant against the clamoring city, grew louder, attracting the attention of an increasing number of people. Soon they were able to see a disheveled and emaciated young man coming toward them, his hair and beard coarse and untended, his movements erratic. In reality he was forced to hop this way and that to avoid the pigs, flocks of sheep, goats, and other animals, which were allowed to roam freely to clean the streets of accumulated garbage. Rarely just walking, he frequently broke into a run or even spun around with his hands held high.

His features still lost in the morning mist, those nearest to him could now discern that he was singing. Having neither radios nor any other entertainment devices, shopkeepers, craftsmen, and ladies hanging out the wash frequently sang to themselves as they worked—usually the songs made popular by traveling troubadours, jongleurs, and minstrels.

These were not the kind of songs the strange man was singing, however. The words "God," "Lord," and "praise" stood out from the others. He leaped again into the air, shouting something incomprehensible. This time, though, as he landed, he slipped in the mud and fell onto all fours. It had rained the previous day, so that the various components of the reeking discharge on the streets were being churned into a very unpleasant muck. He was back up immediately, however, resuming his shouting and singing as if nothing had happened. Murmurs began arising from the milling crowd. Somebody called out "Madman!" Other voices echoed similar phrases as the giovani, or young man, rushed awkwardly through the flow of street vendors and shoppers. He looked for all the world like a beggar, except that beneath the layer of dirt was a relatively expensive tunic. His face also did not express hunger or hardship but held a strange expression of exultation. He sang worship songs in ringing tones of ecstasy, his praises shouted up to God the way people usually yelled to urge their men on during games or jousts.

"A religious freak," some onlookers grumbled in disgust. People wondered if he might be a member of one of those heretical religious sects that were popping up here and there. One called Ordo Penitentium, "the penitential order," had been gaining attention of late.

His expression of happiness clashed with his unhealthful and beggarly appearance, drawing more catcalls denigrating his sanity and intelligence. Then someone recognized the face. The news spread through the crowd like an ocean wave.

It was a startling revelation. He was known all over town as one of the wild youths who frequently disturbed the peace of the city—a notorious profligate who, along with his similarly wild friends, was known for engaging in lavish and bawdy parties, carousing drunkenly through the streets late at night.

Madness! That was the only explanation. Jeering voices began to rise from among the crowd at seeing this high and mighty peacock so fallen. The tenor of turmoil amplified as the younger crowd began pelting him with disgusting mud clods. Others gathered around him and began pushing and shoving him about. He'd been a gang leader of sorts, and rivals seized this opportunity to prey upon him. They knocked him about, circling him as if they were baiting a bear, beating him mercilessly.

He was passed raucously from one group of persecutors to another along the winding street that climbed toward the piazza. Proving his madness, during all of this raucous mistreatment his look of happiness lingered.

His name was Francesco, better known as Francis, and one day he would be proclaimed a saint.

Chapter Two

THE MERCHANT AND THE DREAMER

From his childhood, Francis had desired to be neither the son of a rich man nor a saint. These were the days of legends—of King Arthur and Percival, of Saint George and Roland and Charlemagne. Visions of knights in brilliant armor—rescuing beautiful ladies, making grand gestures of benevolence, dueling valiantly with the forces of evil, and bravely driving back the infidel from the borders of Christendom—danced in his imagination. With every breath in his body, he wanted to become a knight.

Most people blame his obsession with knights and their code of chivalry on his mother, Pica, who was from Provençal. That region in southern France is credited with giving birth to many of the chansons de geste or "songs of heroic deeds" that became famous throughout Europe. French was the language of the jongleurs and troubadours who sang or recited these stories, so it is natural to assume that Francis learned that language from his mother—specifically the dialect of Provençal.

There were more practical reasons for learning French, however. It was the language upon which his father's fortune was founded. Pietro di Bernadone was a merchant—a buyer, seller, and manufacturer of fine fabrics. The center of the cloth industry was in southern France, where the great trade fairs were held each year. Thanks to the market for fine fashions among the nobility and the increasingly prosperous middle class, Pietro had bought and sold and traded his way to considerable wealth through those fairs. Even the pending birth of his first child could not dissuade him from making the journey to them.

His father was therefore far away when Francis was born. Neighbors and family members and especially Pica had urged him to wait, but the fairs were essential to his prosperity—to the good life, he assured himself, that he was making for his wife and child. In his absence, Pica had her baby christened at Assisi's cathedral, San Rufino, naming him John after John the Baptist. When Pietro returned, however, he was not pleased with his wife's choice of a name. The Baptist had been a hermit who lived in the wilderness in poverty—not at all the role model for the son of a prosperous merchant. He insisted that his boy's name be changed to Francis. That name was not common in Italy, for it means "the French one," but Pietro owed both his lovely French wife and his enviable livelihood to the people of that land beyond the Alps.

Francis therefore, as they say, grew up in the lap of luxury. Thomas of Celano, in his 1230 biography, the first written about Francis, accuses his parents of leading him into a life driven by a desire for worldly pleasures, suggesting that their worldly behavior provided a poor example for the boy to follow.

Apparently, then as now, the parent tended to bear the brunt of blame for an unruly child. Thomas also criticizes them for being lax in discipline. Discipline at that time included a liberal use of the "rod," including an occasional beating. Given Pietro's reputation, as well as his treatment of Francis during the period of his conversion, it is doubtful that he was negligent in exacting discipline either with or without the rod.

Rearing a child was just as complex eight hundred years ago as it has always been. Thomas admits that if children "behave virtuously, they become subjected to harsh punishments," meaning bullying, taunting, and fighting at school, on street corners, and in the piazzas. Another of Thomas's comments will ring a timely bell with anyone who has ever been a teenager: "Children talk about doing worse things than they actually do, so that they will not be perceived as more innocent."

Thomas met Francis and became one of his followers, but the men spent very little time together. Consequently, when Thomas was commissioned by Pope Gregory IX in 1228 to write the biography, he had to rely upon the testimony of others who had known or shared experiences with Francis during the various phases of his life, filling in the blanks with his own conclusions. After the release of his biography, Thomas heard that Pica, now a widow, was hurt and offended by his portrayal of her. He made further inquiries and discovered that she was a spiritually minded person who may have quietly nurtured the spiritual in Francis. Thomas, in fact, discovered enough new information that he wrote another biography in 1247. His Second Life, as it is called, not only presents Pica in a much more favorable light, but appends his First Life of St. Francis, as it became called, with corrections and additional material.

Neither of Thomas's biographies provides much detail about Francis's formative years. In all ages, of course, children play. Most of the toys children played with in the twelfth century were improvised from sticks or stones or household items. Children from wealthier families, like Francis, might have had store-bought toys. Francis probably wouldn't have been interested in the porcelain dolls, but he would have begged for the tiny horses with riders—probably enough of them to engage in a sizable miniature battle. Like many children, Francis preferred playing to eating. When summoned by a voice outside, he'd immediately rush off, leaving a tremor of cups and plates and the groans of his parents in his wake.

Francis had a younger brother named Angelo about whom we know little. We can assume that they occasionally played together, although older brothers often prefer friends to little brothers. Most of the games they played sound roughly familiar: hide-and-seek, catch, or, by adding a stick, a primitive form of street hockey or soccer. Added to these were the improvisations of their imagination. A stick, raised high with a war cry, turns into Excalibur, and a longer stick held by a boy riding a broomstick horse transforms the game into a joust. In the winter they threw snowballs and, on a less appetizing note, took the bladders of slaughtered pigs to blow up into balloons.

Like virtually all people in that day, Francis went to church at least once a day, most often with his mother since his father spent so much time away from home. Like most children, he enjoyed hearing stories from the Bible but otherwise took religion pretty much for granted.

Play time became increasingly limited as a boy grew older. As early as age eight, a child might be required to help in his father's business. Rarely in those days did people have separate buildings for work and living. The shop would be on the ground floor of the house with business carried on mostly in the street in front of the house. The seller might lay a board across supports to display goods, or a counter could be built into the house at the base of a large window (not yet including glass) with shelves inside for storage. The shop was usually at the front of a long room with the kitchen and eating area in the rear, so that family members could keep an eye on the shop while they were eating.

The narrow city streets were generally packed with traffic—largely pedestrian. Streets in those days were for people, not modes of transportation. They allowed individuals to move from shop to shop doing business. Carts and wagons had to fight through the crowds as best they could. Different kinds of businesses occupied different streets or neighborhoods—carpenters on one street, jewelry makers in another area, with places for tanning hides in another. Shopkeepers and artisans advertised their wares by hiring criers to walk about calling out their offerings. These criers were a generally disreputable lot that could be found hanging out in taverns and gaming houses.

People spent a lot of time out of doors. Houses were small—hot and stuffy in the summer, cold and drafty in the winter. With no refrigerators for keeping food, people had to go out and shop every day. Everyone knew everyone else, and people could sit and rest or talk on stone benches, which were placed along the streets in front of the shops/houses. Rows of porticos (porches) offered shelter from rain, as did overhanging roofs. Umbrellas weren't due to come along until the sixteenth century. A major reason, in fact, for the streets being so narrow and winding was to help protect pedestrians from the sun and the wind.

Young Francis helped out by moving stock around and fetching and carrying whatever his father wished. Word was that Pietro was fairly indulgent toward the boy when it came to teaching him the business. There was no question that his father had a keen eye for profits, but Pietro had a reputation for being temperamental and ruthless in his business dealings. Francis, who was expected to succeed his father in the family business, was of a different cloth—more good-natured and generous, perhaps pressing his father's irritability with an occasional price break to a needy person.

Many scholars believe that Francis grew up in a house on Chiesa Nuova, although the street wasn't given that name until the seventeenth century. It was only a block away from the city's main street, the Via di Ceppo della Catena, and a block east of the Piazza del Commune, the civic and commercial center of town. The main streets in Assisi ran laterally, essentially east to west, across the spur of Mt. Subasio, which loomed above the city to the northwest. The smaller streets, alleys, pathways, and archways crossed those streets, but rarely at anything close to a right angle.

Houses were distributed unevenly along the narrow streets, some protruding into the street by several feet, giving the streets a jagged configuration. Holy images were illuminated at night, but the streets were generally dark anyway, made more so by the occasional archway and the roofs, created of terra-cotta tiles, overhanging the streets. In addition, since Assisi was built on the side of a mountain, one might be required to traverse an occasional shallow flight of steps on the way to the market.

Like most buildings and houses in Assisi as well as the city's walls and gates, Pietro di Bernadone's house was built of stone quarried from Mount Subasio. The stone tended to give the city a slightly pinkish tinge at sunset, which faded to a pale gray under the moonlight.

The ground floor of the Bernadone house was vaulted and, as well as containing the shop, could be used as a storeroom or stable—the horse, donkey, and cows providing the upper floors with a modicum of heat at night. Next to the stable door was a smaller one, higher from the ground, which allowed access to the living quarters above. There was little privacy in those days. While the houses of the nobility might offer separate bedrooms, most families slept all in one room, several to a bed. Every night the wood steps to the living quarters were pulled up into the house. Assisi was not a safe place after dark.

In those days most never learned to read and write and, since the two were not usually taught together as they are today, many knew only how to read or write, not both. Merchant families, of course, had to be educated in reading, writing, and mathematics. Consequently Francis began attending school, like most children in his social class, at the age of seven. Girls went to school, too, but were typically occupied in learning how to spin, embroider, weave, knit, and sew—the tasks required for a good housekeeper and wife.

The school was located at the church of San Giorgio in an open space on the lower, far eastern side of the city—actually outside the city wall. Lessons began after Easter and were held in the atrium of the church. Vines and climbing flowers on the columns and arches made for a pleasant learning environment. The priest's chief priority was to make sure that the children learned the great stories of the Bible and the saints. Like most boys, Francis probably paid particular attention to the heroes and battles of the Bible. Beyond that, the boys were taught the seven "liberal arts," most important among them being grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. Given his later success as a preacher, Francis may have excelled particularly in the latter subject. Waxed tablets or boards were used for writing.

Going to school wasn't necessarily a pleasant experience. The "rod" was considered essential for education and was applied without hesitation. The boys were taught Italian—the Umbrian dialect—and how to write, translate, and speak Latin, which was the universal language of the educated in Europe. Dialectic was intended to train the young how to think and argue logically based upon reason, authority, or experience.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from SAINT FRANCIS by ROBERT WEST Copyright © 2010 by Robert West. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

1. Out of the Night....................1
2. The Merchant and the Dreamer....................5
3. The Playboy....................23
4. The Knight of Assisi....................32
5. From Riches to Rags....................46
6. A New Light....................61
7. The Chrysalis Breaks....................71
8. Ragtag Brothers....................81
9. The Road to Destiny....................98
10. The Poverello and the Friars Minor....................108
11. Clare: Lady of Light....................124
12. A Voice in the Wilderness....................135
13. Growing Pains....................144
14. Legend....................156
15. The Knight of Christ....................166
16. Divisions and Repercussions....................177
17. Miracles in the Shadow of Death....................188
18. Last Days....................204
Epilogue....................212
Conclusion....................216
Notes....................222
Bibliography....................232
About the Author....................234
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Very engaging

    Kept my attention and is very well writen


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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A dry story about an interesting man.

    Well friends, I should know better. After trudging through "Isaac Newton" (of this same series), I decided to take a stab at reviewing a another. Unfortunately for me, my love of biographies has not really extended to this series. Despite that, I will try to provide you with enough information to make an informed decision about how you'll like this book.

    I'll give West this, right from the beginning, he does a great job of painting a picture about what the world was like when Francis of Assisi was a young, wealthy man. His description is rich and he paints an interesting and compelling picture of what young Francis' life was like. More importantly, there are easy parallels to what some of our lives may have been like before we knew Jesus - we can see our own lives and how easily the enemy makes us think we have it all, and how the Lord intervenes in those moments to show us what we really have (or lack).

    The main problem that I have with book is that the rich description that serves West well as a historian, does not move the story forward very quickly or easily. I felt like I was continually waiting to really see what this guy Francis of Assisi was about. Along the way, I understood that he believed strongly in a life of poverty and sacrifice, and he led others wisely. But I have to be honest - if I'm not sucked into the book by halfway through its 220 very small pages - then I just can't recommend it that highly. I don't know if I'm not connecting with this series because I've only read about men thus far, or if its the format, but I have to rate it 2 sheep out of 5.

    ** Full disclosure: I was provided with this book free of charge by Thomas Nelson, in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    Study on saint's life gives fresh perspective

    Christian Encounters: Saint Francis by Robert West is a look at the saint best known for his love of animals. West retells the well-known story of how the son of a wealthy merchant in the small Italian town of Assisi went from a party animal to the founder of a monastic order known for its poverty. Francis was raised with all of the comforts of wealth and enjoyed lavishing gifts on his friends, but when God touched his heart, he became deeply changed and grew to hate his former pleasures. Francis' order of monks was known for the requirement to donate all possessions upon entrance, and for their desire to live without any possessions. West brings to life the tumultuous time Francis lived during, with wars between cities, troubles in the Church, and Crusades; he helps readers to understand how Francis fit into this time period, as well as how he impacted it. While Francis has become well known for his affinity to animals, West brings other less known information to readers, about his miracles, stigmata (the first in Church history), and his ecstatic reveries that occasionally sent him running through the snow clothed only in a tunic. West helps bring to light this famous saint and give readers fresh perspective on his life.

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  • Posted October 9, 2010

    Good, solid bio of a great man!

    his being the fifth book I have read about the life, ministry and some myths regarding St. Francis, I didn't expect much. I however was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and depth of this book.

    The life of St. Francis has always been a fascinating to me. The first time I had heard of St. Francis was through the life of Rich Mullins. Rich Mullins and his friends had been so impressed and moved by St. Francis they formed a ministry named The Kid Brothers of St. Frank. Rich Mullins also wrote a musical called the Canticle of the Plain, which relived St. Francis' life through a western-style setting.


    I do like the idea behind this book along with the other Christian Encounter books. Its small enough to fit in my pocket but yet its cover has a beautiful depiction of St. Francis.

    The book does a good job of not just focusing on the person of St. Francis, but also the setting into which the life of St. Francis was lived, which makes his life's story even more remarkable.

    Ironically St. Francis would probably be appalled at the attention his life has drawn to himself. He would have more appropriately wanted his life to point us and all who encounter him to Jesus Christ, our only hope!

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    Christian Encounters: Saint Frances

    Robert West's book, Saint Francis, is one in a series of life stories entitled Christian Encounters. The series reminds me of some similar sets of books on the lives of the saints. Its diminutive size, at only 7" by 5", and devotional tone make it very much in line with this tradition of writing. The book is well referenced and written with care. Though I would not call this a "scholarly" text and it is, occasionally, fanciful in its depiction of the life of St Francis of Assisi, it does not lean so far into fiction as to cease being a biography. Francis' well known love of knights, his wealthy upbringing and deep struggle with his call to follow God are coupled with detailed and historically accurate descriptions of the society, cultural context and general landscape of the time and place. West carries the reader through Francis' misspent youth, his dedication to God and adoption of a life of poverty. There is even a section on Clare, his ministry companion and also saint in her own right. Anyone seeking to know more about the saint from a devotional perspective and to learn from his faithful and fascinating life would not be disappointed in this book.
    The back of the book indicates that there is an online reading guide at the publisher's website, however I could not locate a guide on this specific book.
    http://theshepherdesswrites.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/book-review-christian-encounters-saint-francis/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2010

    A Look into a Life

    I was received a copy of SAINT FRANCIS by Robert West from Thomas Nelson. This book is part of a series called Christian Encounters. I was thrilled for this edition, for I had heard of Saint Francis, but not known much. He is truly a fascinating character. The book follows eighteen chapters, an epilogue, conclusion, notes, bibliography, and a section about the author. While reading, I was especially pleased with references to an actual autobiography by Saint Francis. It made the story more real. Despite being a biography, at times the book read more like a novel. The opening chapter begins with a vivid description of a city street. There are also very interesting facts, such as that Saint Francis was originally named John. When his father returned home and discovered that name, he insisted it be changed to Francis. Francis was not a common name. It meant "the French one" and was in honor of Saint Francis's mother, and his father's livelihood. Something I found interesting was that many people in his home lived in elaborate towers. I think it would be exciting to live in one now. My only real criticism of the book was that dates were not included enough. I had trouble placing different events on a timeline in my head to keep everything straight. In the first chapter, dates seemed slow in arriving, so I was confused how to picture things. For the story being historical, there were a lot of facts included, such as weather, that helped to paint powerful scenes in the life of an inspirational saint.

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  • Posted August 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Saint Francis

    Saint Francis by Robert West
    As a blogger for booksneeze.com, I had the priviledge of reading a special biographical book written by Robert West on Saint Francis by Thomas Nelson publishers.Robert West's book is rich in detail and culture about Saint Francis, the man, as well as the society he had come from. One notable distinction, first and formost, must be made between a biography about a midevil spiritual figure such as Saint Francis of Assisi in contrast to a political figure such as Abraham Lincoln. A biography about a spiritual figure, such as Saint Francis, will by nature, be more subjective, and less reliant on historical or objective fact than a story about an American preseident, for example. This is something the reader must be prepared for. An example to consider would be the discussion of the alleged stigmata signs as well as other miracles attributed to Saint Francis during and after his lifetime. Obviously the evidences presented for these alleged miracles are not as concrete as for example as physical document or photo that may be present when discussing the accomplishments in the biography of a political figure. Therefore much of the information contained, especially that of a spiritual or supernatural nature is based on conjecture, second hand stories and anecdotes and therfore can not be proven historically or scientifically.

    Furthermore, Paul himself offers many warnings in his new testament letters of the bible of false teachings, as well as false visions that are miraculous enough even to fool the elite. Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, according to the bible. Furthermore,as believers, we are under no obligation to believe in any one else's spiritual vision, other than what is contained in the gospel message itself. As for belief in any other spiritual matters that is up to our individual discretion, if in fact the specific message, vision, apparition, etc... has passed our scutiny and conscious as being in accordance with the biblical message. Francis of Assisi, was a comendable and inspriational historical figure- of that I have no doubt. Would Francis of Assisi if he were alive today, advocate such iconic devotion to himself? Did he in fact believe he had the power to have miracles occur through his name? Or perhaps, in his humility and gentle nature, would he say that only through the name of Jesus could any miracle be accomplished? We are all called to be saints, according to the bible. As for the miracles attributed to Francis of Assisi, during and after his lifetime, I would listen to Paul's timeless advice in the bible: Galations 1:10 when considering the claims of supernatural visions and signs.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    http://forreadersbyreaders.blogspot.com/2010/07/045-saint-francis.html

    It's hard to write a bad biography over an incredible life. I spent the last couple days reading through Robert West's biography on the life of Saint Francis. It was incredible. Actually I should say he was incredible. West does an excellent job of writing in a way that doesn't distract from the main character, but merely highlights him even further. Saint Francis was an incredible man of God and West simply points out that fact time and again.

    Normally I wouldn't make such a big deal about it, but the way this book is bound and the texture of the cover was awesome. It's smaller than a normal book, and has a rougher texture to the cover than normal books. I love it. I'm pretty picky about how a book looks and feels, but this one blew me away. Good work, Thomas Nelson.

    Also, I'm supposed to let you know that I was given a free review copy of the book, but that has nothing to do with whether or not I liked it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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