- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Ave Maria Press (September 4, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594716463
- ISBN-13: 978-1594716461
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,376,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When Saint Francis Saved the Church: How a Converted Medieval Troubadour Created a Spiritual Vision for the Ages Paperback – September 4, 2015
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"An exciting, intelligent, and faithful understanding of Francis of Assisi--for our time and for all time! Read, and find hope!" --Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Jon Sweeney is good at many things, but he is a master at retrieving the treasure of the Christian past and restoring it to currency for the Christian present. In this book, he transcends even those categories." --Barbara Brown Taylor, Author of An Altar in the World
"Reflecting with Jon Sweeney on the work and wisdom of St. Francis of Assisi orients us on how to pray for Pope Francis's efforts and to respond to his initiatives." --Bert Ghezzi, Author of Voices of the Saints
"This Francis is a Francis that readers may feel they are meeting anew and finding even more relevant in their lives." --Murray Bodo, O.F.M., Author of The Way of St. Francis
"Jon Sweeney applies popular history to a man who changed history, St. Francis of Assisi. Deeply familiar with the Franciscan sources and writing in a very accessible style, Sweeney points to Pope Francis's inspiration. I like this book!" --John Feister, Editor-in-Chief of St. Anthony Messenger
"This well-informed meditation on the life of St. Francis is a delight to read. Jon Sweeney's careful and timely retelling of Francis's story deepens our understanding of why a twenty-first-century pope took the saint's name--and gives us hope for the future of the Church." -- --Paul Moses, Author of The Saint and the Sultan
About the Author
Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and one of religion's most respected writers. His work has been hailed by everyone from PBS and James Martin, S.J., to Fox News and Dan Savage. He's been interviewed on CBS Saturday Morning, Fox News, CBS-TV Chicago, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and on the popular program Chicago Tonight. Several of his books have become Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club selections. His popular medieval history, The Pope Who Quit, was published by Image/Random House and optioned by HBO. It was a selection of the History Book Club and received a starred review in Booklist. His book, When Saint Francis Saved the Church, received a 2015 award for excellence in history from the Catholic Press Association. His other words include Inventing Hell, The Complete Francis of Assisi, and The St. Francis Prayer Book. Sweeney writes regularly for America and The Tablet. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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The author uses a conversational tone of writing. The book almost reads like an infomercial at points, and certainly reads like a text with accompanying slides for a presentation, which it turns out was an early form of the book.
The underlying thesis of the book is posed as a question: Is it too bold to suggest that another Francis may just be saving the Church again in the twenty-first century?
The author refers to Pope Francis, who told the Cardinals who elected him that if we value institutions over seeking the real goals of the Christina life, then things go wrong. If the Catholic Church is more concerned with its money and property and avoiding lawsuits, then it will ignore the suffering of the people they are there to consul. The new Pope wants to reformed the church from within.
Pope Francis cannot work change in the institutions of the Catholic church without the help of the Catholic faithful. That is the role this book aims to fulfill. The book is a gentle call to arms in support of the Pope's efforts to emulate St. Francis's humanistic teachings and examples.
The extensive Further Reading section is a gift to those interested in expanding their knowledge of St. Francis of Assisi, and further exploring the ideas of the author.
Please read my full and illustrated review at Italophile Book Reviews.