I just finished reading Thomas Nelson’s “Saint Francis” by Robert west. It is a part of Christian Encounters, a series of biographies which highlight important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Quite honestly, I didn’t know much about St. Francis, except that he must have really loved animals because preached to some birds once, and lots of people have nice little statues of him in their front yards with birds on his shoulders.
What I did learn though, was that St. Francis was a guy that lived with reckless abandon, sold out completely for the faith he believed in, and the calling of God on his life. He utterly rejected the lavish lifestyle he was brought up with, and devoted the rest of his life to living in extreme poverty. He believed that anything we own takes time and energy to protect. When we own stuff, we are constantly filling our thoughts with ways to protect what is ours, diverting attention from our community with God. I love that his mindset went completely against everything he ever knew to be true.
As word spread about St.Francis, so did the folklore surrounding him. The stories about him seeme to have gotten bigger and bigger through time. I appreciate that the author doesn’t claim that every story surrounding St.Francis’ life to be true. Rather, he paints a vivid picture of the character, and lets the reader decide for themselves.
This is a great, short, easy to read book about the life of St. Francis. The only thing I’m not completely crazy about is the quality of the cover and pages. I like to read, highlight, and take notes on the pages of this type of books, and the ink from my highlighter bled through to the other side…not a big deal really.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the life of St.Francis.