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St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims Paperback – December 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A fascinating study of the encounters between on of the Church's greatest and most daringly imaginative saints, and some of the most inveterate enemies Christendom had ever known. This book is full of lessons for contemporary Christians engaged in efforts at 'dialogue' with Muslims, in whatever form those 'dialogues' take. --Robert Spencer

This is a rare and daring approach to the life of St. Francis and one that is so necessary in our world at this time. --Fr. Angelus Shaughnessy, O.F.M. Cap.

About the Author

Frank M. Rega is a third Order secular Franciscan who has long studied St. Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio. In addition to writing St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims, he is also the author of Padre Pio and America. Aside from writing, he also moderates a 350-member Internet prayer group based on St. Pio, and hosts SanPadrePio.com. Frank Rega studied at Yale University, and has been employed as a software consultant.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: TAN Books; 1st edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895558580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895558589
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered why it's the Franciscans in their long brown habits with rope ties who lead you along the Via Dolorosa, The Way of the Cross in Jerusalem, the most sacred of Christian sites and Christian moments?

In this excellent narrative of St. Francis coming face to face with the Muslims, Frank Rega (a Phi Beta Kappa and Woodrow Wilson scholar) traces a great and controversial moment in Christian history--the meeting of Francis of Assisi with the Sultan al Malik al Kamil, one of the most important leaders of Egypt, Palestine and Syria, in the hot summer of 1219, during the Fifth Crusade. Questions come to mind immediately: what on earth was Francis doing on a Crusade? What was his plan? his hope?

Strangely enough, there are probably many Christians, many Catholics, who are not aware that a crucial meeting took place between Francis and the Sultan. Those who knew Francis, as well as scholars and intellectuals through the centuries, have written tomes opining and debating the reason for Francis' bold venture into the enemy camp during a lull in the heated battle at Damietta, Egypt. But march in he did, with the might of his faith and one companion! He expected he would most likely be martyred. He was not. Instead....

This is Rega's entry into the debate. Francis, who had renounced the world, reduced himself to rags and the most austere living, and who loved every soul and creature on earth, joined the 5th Crusade "in a courageous attempt to preach the Gospel. . . in the Middle East," writes Rega. Standing in his beggarlike habit, Francis began to speak, and because of the simplicity of his arguments and the confidence he exuded, the Sultan was willing to listen to Francis' words.
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Format: Paperback
St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims by Frank Rega is very well researched and written. I found it pleasant to read, as well as very informative. The book explained in great depth the story of the conversion of the Sultan and also gave a greater insight into the character of St. Francis, his own background and conversion. The book also showed St. Francis' respect for all humans. In his desire to convert the Sultan, St. Francis never treated him with disrespect. His goal was only to teach him about Christ and draw him closer to God.

Saint Francis was a peacemaker, but he also recognized the importance of bearing arms in special circumstances, such as in defense of one's country. Being a parent of a son, serving in Iraq, and also a Franciscan, I truly delighted in being reminded of St. Francis' great love for God, his desire to unite all people, regardless of race or religion, and his ability to bring peace to troubled areas. I think all who read this book will acquire a greater love for St. Francis, as well as a true appreciation for his humility and respect for humankind.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
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Format: Paperback
When one thinks of Saint Francis of Assisi, often what comes to mind are images of a soft and weak man immersed in a pacified landscape, full of birds and bunny rabbits who are awestruck at every word that falls from his lips. However, reality frontally challenges this limp-wristed portrayal.

This is evident from Frank Rega's controversial new book, Saint Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims. The author successfully dispels many of the myths spread about the saint's persona. He states: "To reduce this saint to a glorified social worker, a nature lover, or `the first hippie' is a great disservice to his true heritage."

On the contrary, Mr. Rega paints the true picture of Saint Francis: a saint of prayer, courage and action, who, contrary to the claims of many modern biographers, actually supported the Crusades.

The second section of Saint Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims proves this contention. This part stands alone, for those who are only interested in reading about the saint's correspondence with the Muslims. However, it is sandwiched between two other sections, which recount the saint's life before and after his missionary journey to the Middle East. Together, these three sections make up an informative and highly readable biography of the Seraphic Father.

The book's main thrust and most interesting section deals with Saint Francis' true position in face of the Muslims. He felt a tremendous desire for their salvation and even risked torture and death to bring them the Gospel. However, he explicitly denounced Islam as a false religion that leads to damnation.
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This is a wonderful book on St. Francis of Assisi (who regrettably is perhaps the MOST misunderstood saint of the Catholic faith). To many people St. Francis is just "the animal lover" or some hippy who talked to birds or relegated to the prayer "Lord make me an instrument of Your peace". While most people are unaware the tremendous strength and fortitude of this incredible Saint. Who boldly accompanied the Christian army during the 5th Crusade, and with complete disregard for his own life, met and challenged the Sultan face to face. NOT to have a casual chat, but to convert the Sultan and his Saracen army to Christianity.

The book is broken down into three parts. The first part deals with Francis' early life and his gradual lean toward a complete and total religious lifestyle which he created (the Franciscan Order).
The second part of the book revolves around Francis accompanying the Crusader army into Egypt and his attempts to convert the Muslim Sultan.
The third part is Francis' post-Crusade years.

For anyone wishing a deeper knowledge of St. Francis this is a great start. You will learn something new about him and deepen your appreciation for this remarkable saint.
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