Reluctant Saint

Reluctant Saint

The Life of Francis of Assisi

Book - 2002
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Penguin Putnam
"Don't make a saint of me," Francis of Assisi told a friend-even as his charisma and holiness were dazzling his contemporaries and generating a legend that has lasted almost a millennium. In Reluctant Saint, Donald Spoto, author of the acclaimed The Hidden Jesus, shows us a Saint Francis who transcends the image of Francis familiar to even the least religious among us: wealthy profligate, soldier, businessman, preacher, defender of the poor, mystic-and, later, a lodestar to ecologists and animal rights activists. Spoto's unprecedented access to unexplored archives and the saint's own unpublished letters help reveal how Francis pioneered an entirely new historical movement, one that eventually slipped from his grasp.

Spoto highlights Francis's position within the ecclesiastical, political, and social forces of medieval Italy in all its violence, color, and mystery. It was, like our own, a time of crisis with a craving for reform and for a deeper, simpler, more personal faith-yet concern for the common good, and for the poor and sick, was virtually unknown. A key part of the revolution Francis brought about was his insistence that such concern lay at the heart of the Gospel. Reluctant Saint portrays a life that has captured the hearts and minds of millions over the centuries.

Baker & Taylor
An account of the life of one of the great Catholic saints delves into his own unpublished letters to offer a portrait of this complicated man and the movement he spawned.

Blackwell North Amer
For nearly a century, no other saint has presented as compelling a figure to the world as Francis of Assisi. For many the very idea of "saint" is epitomized by the gaunt, ascetic preacher, dressed in a simple brown habit, conversing with the birds or taming a wild wolf. Yet much of what we have come to know of Francis is in fact the product of legends and the accumulation of hundreds of years of pious iconography, so much so that this remarkable man has become obscured by his image.
In Reluctant Saint Donald Spoto casts a new light on Francis, placing him within the context of the ecclesiastical, political, and social forces of medieval Italy in all its violence, color, and mystery. It was, like our own era, a time of crisis with a craving for reform and for a deeper, simpler, more personal faith, even while concern for the common good, the poor, and the sick was virtually unknown. Francis insisted that this concern lay at the heart of the Gospel, and he dedicated his life to reinstating it, in the process pioneering a new social movement, one that ultimately and tragically slipped from his grasp.
Donald Spoto draws on unprecedented access to unexplored archives in Rome, Assisi, Grecchio, and Florence, as well as on Francis' own letters, to offer the most nuanced and fully drawn portrait of a man whose life's struggle was to follow humbly in the footsteps of Christ. From his spiritual epiphany before a crucifix in a small rural church in Umbria to the failures and bitter disappointments of his later years, Reluctant Saint is a landmark biography of a man who can genuinely be said to have changed the course of history.

Publisher: New York : Viking Compass, 2002
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780670031283
0670031283
Branch Call Number: 271.302 FRANC SPOTO
Characteristics: xix, 256 pages ; 25 cm

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