Archives For St. Francis


[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1612619738″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”259″]The Saint in Vivid Color
A Brief Review of 

St. Francis and the Animals:
A Mother Bird’s Story

Phil Gallery
Illustrated by Sybil Mackenzie

Hardback: San Damiano Books, 2018
Buy Now:  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”1612619738″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith

“These stunning illustrations and the engaging text describe how Francis related to a great variety of animals. This book is sure to spark valuable conversations.”
-Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM

Narrated by Mother Bird, this picture book is an elegantly-illustrated retelling the familiar stories of St. Francis and his interaction with the animals.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1612617751″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”238″]Wonder, Whimsy,
and Mystical Love

A Review of

The Canticle of the Creatures for Saint Francis of Assisi
Luigi Santucci

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2017.
Buy Now: [  [easyazon_link identifier=”1612617751″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ] [  [easyazon_link identifier=”B0778G5PNG” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

Reviewed by Bailey Shannon


The Canticle of the Creatures for Saint Francis of Assisi entered my life in the most appropriate and timely way. I recently started an internship at a wilderness academy where I instruct children in nature connection and (hopefully) instill in them a love and passion for the natural world. Whenever we walk down to the river, we pass a house with a yard full of herbs and perennials, trees and trinkets, and beautiful garden decor. One of the decorations is a four-foot-tall statue of Saint Francis. The children greet him as we pass by; I like to think he is giving us his blessing.

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( C.S. Lewis, Jon M. Sweeney, Brian Doyle, Chaim Potok, MORE )


15 Essential Ebooks Under $3ea!


Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

  [easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B01EFM8NIY” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”332″]

[easyazon_link identifier=”B01EFM8NIY” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays[/easyazon_link]

C.S. Lewis

*** $1.99 ***

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1594716013″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”216″]Whose biography is it anyway?

A Review of

The Enthusiast: How the Best Friend of Francis of Assisi Almost Destroyed What He Started
Jon M. Sweeney

Paperback: Ave Maria Press, 2016
Buy now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”1594716013″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]   [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B01BUF146M” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

Reviewed by Scott E. Schul

It is ironic that a man who left behind so few written records has become the subject of an almost limitless degree of scholarship. Ever since the first “official” biography of Francis of Assisi by Thomas of Celano in 1229, scholars have been attempting to describe, interpret, and make sense of the man nicknamed the Poverello (or “Poor Little One”) and the Franciscan movement he birthed. Contemporary biographers recognize the extent to which Francis has already been analyzed and so they generally begin their books with a lengthy justification for the presence of yet one more book on the subject. Jon Sweeney is no exception. In his prologue to The Enthusiast, Sweeny acknowledges the existing breadth of information about Francis, but argues that each generation tends to understand and even form Francis in its own image. Accordingly, Sweeney justifies The Enthusiast by arguing that it tells the well-known story from a uniquely different perspective, namely, through the lens of one of the most difficult and complex relationships in the life not only of Francis but of the Franciscan movement.

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It took me years to understand that words are often as important as experience, because words make experience last.”
– William Morris, artist and poet,
who died on this day, 1896
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Poem of the Day:
St. Francis and the Birds

Seamus Heaney
*** Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Francis.
[ 3 poems for the feast of St. Francis ]
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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
The Year of Living Biblically
by A.J. Jacobs

ONLY $1.99!!!      [ Tweet this ]

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – October 3, 2014


[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1594714789″ cloaking=”default” height=”333″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”216″ alt=”Charles Murphy”]
The Wind of the Spirit:  Now and Then

A Feature Review of

Reclaiming Francis:  How the Saint and the Pope are Renewing the Church

Charles Murphy

Paperback: Ava Maria Press, 2014
Buy now: [ [easyazon_link asin=”1594714789″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link asin=”B00HV011PU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]

Reviewed by Jess O. Hale


A wind is blowing through many lands in our world and many are finding this wind to be renewing or at least refreshing.  It may not be the first time this wind has blown through a few of these locales.  Could it be that we may just find  the breath of God’s Spirit in this wind?  To many Catholics and Protestants and even a few of those outside of the traditional faithful, the arrival of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Latin America as bishop of Rome counts at least as a breath of fresh air and quite possibly as the renewing wind of the Spirit of God on the church of Jesus.  After all, Pope Francis has forgone many of the more ornate trappings of his new office to live more simply and communicate more directly with the faithful and the world.  He focuses more directly on grace and love and justice than on the more controversial topics of sexuality.  To this end he has upset Rush Limbaugh with his economics and startled the mainstream press as he becomes Time’s Person of the Year.  He has stirred up the faithful outside of his Catholic flock as well—-even Sojourners magazine has given him an iconic cover as the joyous Pope Francis waves  with a bird perhaps representing the Spirit hovering close by.  However, as the continuing presence of the saint of Assisi witnesses, it is not the first time that a wind of the Spirit has come through troubled lands.

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St. Francis


Three Poems about St. Francis On his Feast Day


Vachel Lindsay


***[easyazon-link keywords=”Vachel Lindsay” locale=”us”]Books by Vachel Lindsay[/easyazon-link]

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The Wake Up CallThe Wake Up Call –
1 November 2012

Like the smell of strong coffee wafting down the hall, we offer a few book-related thoughts and stories to jumpstart your day…


*** Receive an email with The Wake Up Call (and daily ERB posts) in your inbox each morning! Sign up for The Daily Book Morsel

Today is All Saints Day…


Here is a lovely poem for this day: Saints’ Logic by Linda Gregerson


Also in honor of All Saints Day,
Here are our recent playlists of books to read on St. Francis…
[ Version #1 -Chris Smith ]   [ Version #2 (Remixed) – Trevor Thompson ]


And speaking of playlists, ERB editor Chris Smith had
a reflection on the playlist as an everyday way of doing theology
published on the ThinkChristian website yesterday…


“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You should live several lives while reading it.”
– William Styron, who died on this day in 2006.


Book News:

Thanks be to God for this new day, may it be full of beauty and grace!

The Wake Up Call image via WikiMedia Commons

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Francis Re-mixed
A Deeper Look at the Best Books on St. Francis

by Trevor Thompson

This is the latest in an on-going series of “playlists,” in which we recommend books around a particular theme. This one offers another, deeper look at the best books on St. Francis (the subject of our first playlist earlier this month).

“Making a mixtape (or playlist) is the opposite of indifferent. It’s heartfelt, purposeful — often a subtle form of flirtation. … [The playlist] is a way of making yourself known, an interpersonal form of show business, of making news, of replicating sounds and words you find important. It’s like poetry, because poetry is what you can’t say in any other way.”
– David Dark, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything
(Our 2009 Book of the Year. Read our Review…)

*** Watch for more ERB playlists in the coming weeks and months, and for a forthcoming essay on playlists as a way of doing theology.

Use the comments below to let us know what you think…
Are there books that should be added to or deleted from this list?

St. Francis Remixed – Best BooksIt is thought to be the case that Francis is the most biographed person of all of history.  If this is the case, it is no doubt because of Francis’ holy and eternally compelling witness for living the gospel life.  But the number of biographies is also, quite frankly, because his image and mission are highly contested.  The argument about the “true Francis” gleaned from the variety of written sources and oral traditions coupled the wider historical-cultural critical work parallels the argument about the historical Jesus in so many ways.  Before Francis even dies, he himself is torn by the many versions of this so-called Franciscan life that were circulating around Europe.  As the history of Franciscan life unfolds, the drama is thick, chock-full of contentious feelings and deep fractures, even bloody sanctioned murder.  So, leaning into a top-10 list for Francis might be a more serious and risky venture than one imagines.

I will offer my “remix” playlist using genre-type classifications, dividing these works into five groupings.  I am conscious that with all typologies, there are weaknesses in classification, and of course, plenty of overlap, but this was a helpful way to consider all the strands of influence on me from this “poor one” we call Francis.  Francis is so deeply a part of my imagination, and so I offer this list to you with all the excitement, care, and vulnerability that I made and shared those cassettes of jams back in the day.

1.            Books that highlight Francis’ more radical social embodiment of the gospel life and freely use the language/lenses of Catholic social teaching (including care of creation), liberation theology, and labor/work

  • Boff, Leonardo. St. Francis: A Model for Human Liberation. Trans. by John W. Diercksmeier. New York: Crossroad, 2006. [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
  • Crosby, Michael.  Finding Francis, Following Christ.  New York: Orbis, 2008.  [ Amazon ]
  • Dennis, Marie, Joseph Nangle, OFM, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, and Stuart Taylor. St. Francis and the Foolishness of God. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2002.  [ Amazon ]
  • Flood, David.  Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Movement. Quezon City: Franciscan Institute of Asia, 1989.  Out of print, but a great work if you can get your hands on it!
  • Flood, David, and Thaddée Matura. The Birth of a Movement: A Study of the First Rule of St. Francis. Trans. by Paul Schwartz and Paul Lachance. Chicago, IL: Franciscan Herald Press, 1975.  [ Amazon ]
  • Flood, David.  The Daily Labor of the First Franciscans. St. Bonaventure: Franciscan Institute Press, 2010. [ Amazon ]

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An Excerpt from

The Cost of Community:
Jesus, St. Francis and Life in the Kingdom

by Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Paperback: IVP / Likewise, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Our latest print issue includes an interview with the author about this book… Are you a subscriber?