The is the first of a projected three-volume set of writings by and about St. Francis of Assisi. Each volume will reflect different aspects of Francis's work and thought. The texts come from the first 150 years (c. 1250-1355) of the Franciscan tradition and help us understand both Francis and his movement. This volume contains writings of Francis on such diverse subjects as Prayer Before the Crucifix, Exhortations to Clergy, Rule for Hermitages, and A Salutation of the Virtues. The writings afford wonderful insight into the theology and basic concerns of this important figure in church history. The book contains a life of Francis written in 1228-29 by Thomas of Celano, as much theology as biography; a biography by Julian of Speyer; and a versified life of Francis written between 1230 and 1241. There is wonderful variety among the writings included here, and the chronological arrangement reveals the development of Francis's thought. Helpful footnotes and Scripture references in the margins make the work even more useful. Recommended.ÄDavid Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
"The high scholarly standards, the useful annotations, the handsome layout, and the vigorous translation style makes this an indispensable resource. A scholarly achievement done in the service of history, theology, and spirituality."