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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-1-7375498-2-6 B09FQCKLVH
  • 374 pages
  • $15.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2021
  • 9781737549802 1737549808
  • 374 pages
  • $25.99
Francis and Clare: The Struggles of the Saints of Assisi

Adult; History & Military; (Create)

The dual biography Francis and Clare The Struggles of the Saints of Assisi, a portrait for the twenty-first century, offers new reasons to love Francis and reveals in Clare a female saint who in the thirteenth century led a resistance movement against a pope. Francis’s greatest shame was allowing the church to betray his promises to her. Clare, fighting to uphold Francis’s movement, blindsided the pope who thought he had confined her in a cloister. The full story of either of these extraordinary individuals, set against the beginnings of the flawed bureaucratic Catholic Church that is coming into ever-clearer focus today, cannot be known without the other. It is a tale of individuals confronting overwhelming power.

Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

A historical work examines the intersecting lives of two Roman Catholic saints: St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.

An edifying and meticulous exploration of two saints.

St. Clare was born in Assisi in the closing years of the 12th century to a noble family distantly related on the maternal side to Constance, the wife of Henry VI, the Holy Roman emperor. From an early age, she was incorruptibly devoted to God and steadfastly prayed and fasted as expressions of her spiritual fervor. Her parents fecklessly tried to compel her to marry, but she resisted, sold off her inheritance, and used the money to rebuild the Church of Saint Damian, a project to which St. Francis was committed. In a show of remarkably painstaking research, Brady chronicles the turbulent journeys of the two saints. They were joined by their relentless religious ardor and an insistence on a life of poverty, a condition St. Francis could be “pitiless” enforcing—and a stricture that put St. Clare at loggerheads with Pope Gregory IX. In addition, the author brings to vivid life the religious and political tumult of the time—which included the Crusades—and astutely articulates the various lines of theological division. Furthermore, the book is lucidly written, a scrupulously thorough account enlivened by what Brady calls “novelistic details,” the minutiae, however imagined, that immerse readers in the drama. But the author’s tendency to interpret the miraculous elements of her subjects’ lives in narrowly scientific terms seems not only gratuitous, but also distorting. For example, she theorizes that St. Francis’ temptations by demons were likely the result of severe undernourishment: “Throughout his religious life, Francis would blame tribulations and temptations on the Devil and other evil denizens of Hell who knew how to taunt and vex him when he was most vulnerable, but his own mistreatment of himself and the ravages of semi-starvation were certainly responsible for much suffering.” This is more speculation than empirical science and doesn’t help illuminate the nature of the spiritual or existential crisis St. Francis endured; in fact, it obscures it. Nevertheless, despite the blandness of this obeisance to scientific explanations, the work as a whole is as captivating as it is rigorous.

 

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-1-7375498-2-6 B09FQCKLVH
  • 374 pages
  • $15.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2021
  • 9781737549802 1737549808
  • 374 pages
  • $25.99

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