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The Passionate Troubadour: A Medieval Novel about Francis of Assisi Paperback – October 15, 2004


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The Passionate Troubadour: A Medieval Novel about Francis of Assisi + Chasing Joy: Musings on Life in a Bittersweet World + Letters to Exodus Christians: Comfort and Hope for Those Who Have Trouble Going to Church
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 646 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (October 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939516691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939516698
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This fervent fictional biography of St. Francis of Assisi paints a full-bodied portrait of a man struggling to resolve the essentially paralyzing conflict between his ascetic spirituality and his vital humanity. Although the story of Francis, the privileged son of a wealthy merchant who renounced all his worldly possessions in favor of a life of poverty, is a familiar one, Hays takes it to a new and invigorating level, introducing a compelling cast of supporting characters who influence Francis along his often torturous and conflicted path to holiness. No plaster saint, Francis emerges as a more earthy and robust version of the retiring hermit of religious folklore and legend. Splendid historical fiction replete with authentic medieval detailing. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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I truly hated to see this book come to an end.
Thomas J. Bohm
I am extremely glad the author included all he did, for it truly adds to the story and gives the reader a much clearer view of who St Francis was.
Amazon Customer
His long journey will culminate in his transformation into a passionate troubador for Christ.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
In The Passionate Troubadour, author Edward Hays (a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, since 1958) wonderfully presents the story of Francis of Assisi as a work of fiction that pays meticulous observance to the details of European medieval history. It tells of a young man searching for his purpose in life, who encounters a mystical voice that charges him with a seemingly meaningless task. He embarks upon the life-changing decision of casting aside his wealth and finery of the merchant class and taking up the rags of a beggar. His long journey will culminate in his transformation into a passionate troubador for Christ. A moving, creative, and vividly original account.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. King on May 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Through this novel, Francis of Assisi comes out of the birdbath and into the reality of the human struggle. Through the pages of this novel we become intimately familiar with his real-life doubts to find what direction his life should take. We see his burning desire to please his father, a man who has no understanding of who is son really is. We see him pulled in so many ways at the same time that, for a time, confusion is his main state of mind. As he grows older and responds to God's call, we still see him struggle as any human being does with the reality of his life. And through it all, we see Francis embracing life as few individuals have. The fictionalized version of this beloved saint reveals him much like he must have been. It is worth the investment in time and gives us all hope that we, too, may find joy in life's struggles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Bohm on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I truly hated to see this book come to an end. The last few chapters I limited myself to how much I would read as I wanted to make it last as long as possible. Plus, the feast day of Francis of Assisi was coming and I wanted to finish this book on his feast day. Knowing the story and life of Francis, I knew that he would pass from this life to the next, and when it is celebrated, so, I read so that I would end on Oct. 4th. Fr. Ed Hays is a wonderful author and a grand story teller. I know him personally and treasure his books and his friendship, and I would recommend this book and any of his to anyone that would like to have a closer walk with Our Lord.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Cramer on April 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm only about a third of the way through the book and it's a good novel with a great character. However I wish I knew less than I do about the historical Saint Francis. It is ok to fill in the blanks of his life with fictional details, but it feels almost sacriligeous when the author contradicts actual recorded details of the saint's life. I'm not sure that changing the facts made this a better or more interesting story, but I am sure that after finishing this book some readers will be left with the impression that they know more about Saint Francis than they really do. One warning: don't quote "facts" you learned in this book to your friends, you just might embarass yourself. I find it especially bothersome that Francis Bernadone is speaks to an imaginary mentor who "leads" Francis to become Saint Francis. This character didn't exist. Saint Francis is a totally unique individual who in many ways out-Christed Jesus Christ, and it isn't true that any one person taught him his philospohy or way of living. I guess my recommendation is to read this book for enjoyment then follow it with biographies of Saint Francis. Once you know a little about the man, you will definitely want to know more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P. Flynn Jr. on February 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great read and (re)introduction to St. Francis of Assissi. A wonderful run-up to Pope Francis and where his papacy seems to be heading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kay early on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fiction and non fiction interwoven, this is a maybe this what happened, about facts that are already know. A must read for anyone interested in ST. FRANCIS, hint he loved animals for sure, but he loved his fellow human persons more, fantastic read.
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By Amazon Customer on January 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel about St Francis of Assisi, particularly because of how the author included the culture and times Francis and Clare lived in as well as the usual biographical elements. Seeing them in the context of their village and the larger events of their times made it clearer as to why Francis's choices and lifestyle were so radically different. From the Children's Crusade, to Pope Innocent and King John, to the wolf Francis meets at Gubbio, the elements are presented in a form that enables the reader to see how over the ages, our current image of Francis has come to be. While the personal story of Francis forms the majority of the story, seeing the personalities of his followers, family and others who interacted with him give the story a very rich and in-depth feeling. I am extremely glad the author included all he did, for it truly adds to the story and gives the reader a much clearer view of who St Francis was.
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