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Saint Francis and Brother Duck


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About the Author

From an early age, James Stoeckl was an aspiring cartoonist. After traveling to Assisi, he was inspired by the life of St. Francis and professed as a Secular Franciscan. He has a master's degree in teaching and has taught elementary and middle school for eleven years. Jay lives in southwestern Colorado with his wife and family. This is his first book.


"Few could match the passion of Giovanni Francesco Bernardone for the unencumbered life, more theological than logical. To people like his father, he looked like a fool, while to debut talent Stoeckl, a secular Franciscan, St. Francis serves as a transcendent model to whom he pays homage in a comic-book biography of the saint--with a duck (a comic foil and discussion partner) who accompanies Francis through a lifetime of asceticism. While the premise is quirky--telling the story of poverty-seeking clergy while giving a fictional fowl second billing--the purity of Stoeckl's vision, not to mention Francis's, makes it compelling...Like the saint it chronicles, it's a genuine effort by a kind-natured soul. On every page, Stoeckl offers unabashed, uncritical, unflinching love for Francis, his Christianity, and the bond between all living things. Stoeckl's work may be an odd duck, but it's a graceful one." (Apr.) --Publisher's Weekly Online Review

"I didn't realize that St. Francis, the world's most popular saint, still needed any introductions - but Jay Stoeckl has pulled it off. What a beautiful telling this is of such a beautiful life! Highly recommended." --Jon M. Sweeney, author of The St. Francis Prayer Book and editor of St. Francis of Assisi in His Own Words: The Essential Writings"Saint Francis and Brother Duck is his [Stoeckl's] graphic retelling of the life of Francis. In these pages we meet the young Francis who dreams of being a glorious knight. His father sends him off to battle arrayed in fine clothes and armor. But before he sees much battle he rescues a duck from some cruel boys...In Stoeckl's retelling, the duck he saved returns home with Francis and remains his companion for the nearly twenty years...Brother Duck is a simple and earnest character. He is a faithful friend to Francis and goes with him everywhere but doesn't always understand Francis. Sometimes he asks probing questions which allow Francis to share his grand theological vision. Other times Brother Duck provides comic relief by being just as slow to understand Francis as the rest of us. In the end the Brother Duck is a faithful interpreter of Francis's message and legacy." --James Matichuk,

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