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The Complete Francis of Assisi


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About the Author

Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar, author, and culture critic with a wide range of interests. Since 2004, he has been the editor-in-chief of Paraclete Press in Massachusetts.


"It's difficult to think of a saint more widely recognized and beloved than Francis of Assisi (1181-1226 CE). Sweeney (When Saint Francis Saved the Church) has brought together Paul Sabatier's important 1894 biography of the saint and almost all of Francis's own writings and prayers including the classic The Little Flowers, an early anthology of anecdotes, teaching tales, and legends about Francis and the first generation of his followers. The author has annotated Sabatier's work, and the translations and arrangement of the material are also his. VERDICT It is immensely valuable to have in one volume the key writings by and about Francis and his first disciples; essential for libraries and individuals looking to expand their knowledge of this influential saint." --Library Journal, Starred Review
"Francis's Essential Writings is of the most historical interest to me. Here is Francis in his own words-letters, prayers and monastic rules. These are important documents of the early Franciscan movement. Sweeney's introductions and comments provide context for each piece of writing. The Little Flowers is well known and well loved. What sets this edition apart from others (other than Sweeney's translation) is their arrangement. Sweeney places these stories in what he thinks is their most straightforward chronological rendering (rather than the traditional order). Anyone interested in Francis and the movement he founded will love this volume. If you do not have any Francis on your shelf, this is a good deal. I give it five stars." --James Matichuk, thoughts, prayers & songs
"The Complete Francis of Assisi
is actually a collection of three books between two covers. Sweeney edited the material of three classic Francis texts and brought them together in one convenient location. The individual titles that constitute this single work on Francis are Road to Assisi, Francis of Assisi in His Own Words: The Essential Writings, and The Little Flowers. This four hundred-page book may seem daunting considering it seeks to introduce a simple and unassuming man of God, but the reader will soon be captivated by the message and transformed in heart. The reader will discover the man Francis, his writings, and his living legacy. Sweeney does an admirable job introducing, annotating, and contemporizing each of the three classic French texts. It should also be noted that this title is part of a new series created by Paraclete Press called Paraclete Giants which specifically gathers the materials that profile the life, deeds, and words of Catholic luminaries in one place. The Complete Francis of Assisi is recommended for all libraries seeking to update some classic texts." --John Leonard Berg, Catholic Library World

"Saint Francis of Assisi is easily one of the most recognized saints, right up there in popularity and appealing warmth with Santa Claus. The Complete Francis of Assisi seeks to create a loving, inspiring portrait of the man who abandoned his father's riches to wander the Italian countryside, ministering to lepers and preaching to birds. The book is actually three books in one: a gentle biography, a selection of writings by the saint himself, and a collection of medieval tales meant to popularize his legacy. Readers won't find anything that drastically changes their perceptions of the lover of Lady Poverty, who nicknamed his own body Brother Ass, and the inclusion of three separate books means that some anecdotes are repeated. But the editor-translator's clear love for his subject shines through, and the readers are left feeling they have spent some quality time with the man who continues to inspire us to contemplate abandoning our worldly possessions. In the company of a man like Francis, it seems like a good idea." --Christine Engel, Booklist

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