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Francis of Assisi

His Life, Vision and Companions

An accessible introduction to the life of this most-venerated saint.
This book is an accessible biography of Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan religious order and one of the most venerated figures in Christianity. In it, Michael F. Cusato explores how Francis and his early brothers embraced a life of poverty in solidarity with the lowest ranks of society, preaching a message of justice and dignity for all. He examines how and why Francis’s vision ultimately expanded to embrace non-Christians and Muslims in particular following Francis’s celebrated encounter with the Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in 1219. Finally, Cusato considers the clash between Francis and newer members of his Order, his reception of the stigmata, and his final years defending his vision among his own brothers, all while living as an exemplar of the gospel life.

232 pages | 30 color plates, 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Medieval Lives

Biography and Letters

History: European History

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"With this volume, Cusato has succeeded in showing us once more his passion for the Order’s tradition, spirituality and history, while intertwining historical sources, hagiography and scientific honesty in a smooth writing style. His insights into the development of the early concept of minoritas are indeed a precious re-reading, and his interesting interpretation of early Franciscan writings and sources truly emanates his zeal to 'decipher' Francis’s soul and contemplative dynamic. This contribution to discussions on Franciscan theology and spirituality reaffirms the vigor and freshness of Francis’s message in our time, so different yet equally challenging."

Fr. Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor

"Cusato is the most accomplished historian of the early Minorite Movement working today. In his engaging historical narrative, he brings together the insights garnered from his many years of meticulous research and publications on the origins and development of the Lesser Brothers and Sisters in the context of their appearance in Umbria in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Francis of Assisi: His Life, Vision and Companions sets the standard for any future work on Francis and Clare and the Minorite movement."

Michael W. Blastic, Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego

Table of Contents

1 The Formative Years, 1205–12
2 The Hidden Years, 1212¬–16
3 The Pivotal Years, 1216–19
4 The Years Overseas, 1219–20
5 The Years of Confrontation, 1220–21
6 The Years of Legislation, 1221–3
7 The Years of Decline, 1223–6

Further Reading
Photo Acknowledgements

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